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Power sought for civic staff

March 21: An Assam Assembly panel has sought magisterial powers for Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) and Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) officials to empower them to enforce departmental laws and bylaws.

The Assembly’s departmentally related standing committee on works department (2013-14) in its 14th report on the Guwahati development department recommended that IAS and ACS officers of the GMC and GMDA should be conferred magisterial powers to enforce bylaws and acts of GMDA and GMC, besides other legislations related to the city, such as the Water Bodies Conservation Act, to ensure better administration.

The report was tabled in the Assembly today.

It stated that the committee also discussed the waterlogging woes of the city and expressed deep concern over the condition of the city’s drainage system. “While discussing the drainage system of the city, the committee observed that the drain from State Bank colony to Bahini river via Sawarajnagar and Kekoranagar has been closed for about 500 meters near G.S. Road owing to construction of multi-storied buildings between Kekoranagar and G.S. Road,” it said. “As a result of that Sawarajnagar, Basudev Nagar and Kekoranagar were badly affected by artificial floods.”

The committee recommended steps to clear the drain in the greater interest of the residents of that area.

The panel also discussed the matter of dumping filth from drains on the roadside and expressed its dissatisfaction. It asked the GMDA to remove the filth within 24 hours of cleaning the drains.

The committee, which is headed by East Guwahati MLA Robin Bordoloi, who is also the GMDA chairman, observed that Guwahati development department was very slow in implementing schemes. They also discussed ways to bring the city under a single agency for better administration.

In this regard, the committee asked the joint secretary of the Assam Assembly to arrange a tour for committee members to Surat and Indore to study the organisational and administration pattern in these two cities.

It also expressed concern over encroachment of almost all footpaths by vendors and emphasised construction of markets so that these vendors could be shifted there. “Encroachment of footpaths gives the city an ugly look and also creates serious traffic problems,” the report said.