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GMDA notice to beel encroachers

- KMSS demands demolition of a 16-storey building, hotel and an institute allegedly built on a wetland

Guwahati, July 18: The Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) today asked those who had illegally constructed structures on the city’s waterbodies — Sarusola Beel, Borsola Beel, Deepor Beel and Bondajan — to vacate, failing which the administration will demolish those structures.

A statement issued by the GMDA said construction on the notified areas of the waterbodies was illegal under the Guwahati Water Bodies (Preservation and Conservation) Act, 2008, and sections of Assam Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Act, 2012.

“Any person encroaching upon such waterbodies and government land notified as part of the four waterbodies is hereby asked to vacate forthwith such illegal occupation, remove any unauthorised structures erected thereon, failing which such encroachment and unauthorised structures shall be evicted by force as per provisions of the law and strict legal action shall be initiated accordingly,” a notification of GMDA today said.

The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti today demanded the district administration to demolish constructions like the 16-storied building of Himmat Sinka, Ginger Hotel and Omeo Kumar Das Institute at Patharquarry alleging that the buildings have been set up on Silsako Beel. The KMSS said if the administration cannot demolish these buildings, it does not have right to demolish the houses of the poor people.

“According to Guwahati Water Bodies Act, after August, 2008 no building can be set up on the waterbodies in the city. But the work of the 16-stroried Ideal Hill View of Himmat Sinka is still going on,” KMSS president Akhil Gogoi said.

Kamrup (metro) deputy commissioner (in-charge) M. Angamuthu, GMC commissioner S. Viswanathan and senior officials of the PWD and other related departments today inspected some of the waterlogging-affected areas and took stock of the ongoing cleaning drive. They visited bylane 6 of Rajgarh Road, Pub Sarania, Anil Nagar and Zoo Narengi Road.

The district administration today also started fencing of the areas along the Bharalu river that were cleared of encroachment. “The fencing will help us check resettlement of the encroachers,” a source in the district administration said.

The eviction squad today continued its drive by removing illegal structures at Chandmari and Bamunimaidam. It also seized large quantities of polythene carry bags from markets in Bamunimaidam. The GMC had earlier banned the use of polythene bags with thickness below 40 microns.

The eviction drive in the city was started on June 30 following death of nine persons in flash floods and landslides. Chief minister Tarun Gogoi had announced that the drive would continue till all illegal constructions obstructing wetlands were cleared.