NGO slams eyesores on Dispur ground

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By Staff Reporter
  • Published 16.11.03

Nov. 16: After sportspersons, it is the turn of the green organisations to take up the issue of ever-depleting open spaces in the city.

A leading environment conservation organisation, Cool Earth, has taken strong exception to the state government’s latest move to construct new buildings at Dispur parade ground in the name of renovating the capital complex.

The NGO has criticised chief minister Tarun Gogoi for his failure to fulfil his promise of making some modifications in the permanent capital complex project and demanded an immediate halt to the proposed construction. A major portion of the ground has been barricaded with corrugated iron sheets for construction.

Cool Earth, along with Dispur Parivesh Sangkrakshan Samiti, had earlier submitted a memorandum to the chief minister, demanding that the proposed project be stopped. The memorandum was signed by at least 6,000 citizens, including journalist Satish Chandra Kakati, veteran politician Golap Borbora, former president of Asam Sahitya Sabha Homen Borgohain and late Bhabendra Nath Saikia.

The NGO has also organised a public meeting at the ground in protest against the government move.

The Dispur parade ground has, over the years, become a favourite spot for morning walkers as well as youngsters who attend the cricket coaching centre there. The other cricket coaching centres of the city are located at Nehru Stadium, Latasil ground and the Assam Engineering Institute Ground in Chandmari.

A city with a population of over five lakh, Guwahati has around 30 open grounds, much less than the minimum requirement. The Nehru Stadium has been the centre of sporting activities ever since sport was thrown out of the historical Judges Field in the mid-nineties. Besides most of the so-called grounds are not fit to hold sporting events.

Though the Judges Field was supposed to have been handed over for sport on August 1, it is yet to be cleared by the district administration. The Guwahati Sports Association (GSA), which is planning to hold its hockey league shortly, is yet to find a ground for the meet. Assam’s leading football outfit, Assam State Electricity Board, is also left with no ground to practice. “We travel all the way to Narengi every day for our practice sessions,” ASEB coach Ganesh Rai said.