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Guwahati rope-way project

4804 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  IAmPerwez
GUWAHATI, Aug 5: The construction works of the aerial rope-way project undertaken by the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) connecting Guwahati city and North Guwahati via Urvashi Island area have come to a halt following the objection of the Archeological Survey of India (ASI).

The construction works of the Rs 32-crore project started in 2009 after the GMDA received a go ahead from the Environment Ministry and the Inland Waterways Authority. The ASI also gave its nod for the construction of the rope-way.

But problem cropped up when the Ancient Monuments and Archeological Sites and Remains (Amendment and Validation) Act was passed in 2010. The very Act says that no construction works be undertaken within 300 metres area of the centrally protected monuments/sites.

The rope-way project aims to serve twin objectives of boosting tourism and reducing the travel time between the North and South banks of the Brahmaputra. Currently, the banks can be reached only through road or ferry boat service.

GMDA sources said a key pillar of the rope-way would fall within 230 metres of Urvashi Island and the ASI had objected to it citing the provisions of the Ancient Monuments Act. “Following the ASI pressure, the construction works of the project have been suspended since February 2011,” said the GMDA sources.

Supporting the Ancient Monuments and Archeological Sites and Remains (Amendment and Validation) Act 2010, Director of Archeology, Assam, Dr HN Dutta said like Urvashi Island, Umananda Island was also an archeologically protected site. According to Dutta, the GMDA had also breached its building by-laws while constructing the rope-way.

The GMDA sources said the GMDA had forced to change its rope-way construction plan due to the Ancient Monuments Act. But the GMDA sources maintained that there was no problem in the construction of the key pillar on Umananda Island as the pillar would not cast any impact on the beauty of the river island.

Meanwhile, the GMDA submitted around Rs 50 crore new project proposal for the rope-way to the State Government for its clearance and a committee has been formed by the government headed by Additional Chief Secr
etary J Khosla to look into the implementation of the much-hyped project.

The GMDA has estimated that approximately 250 passengers can be ferried per hour through the proposed rope-way.
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Move to restart city ropeway project

GUWAHATI, July 8 – The Rs 41-crore ambitious Guwahati-North Guwahati Ropeway Project of the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) is facing serious legal hurdles. Besides, technical problems have also affected its construction work and since October, 2010, work on the project remained stalled following titling of its Pillar No. 2.
Meanwhile, MGVK Bhanu, one of the Principal Secretaries to the Chief Minister, has evinced keen interest to resolve the legal tangle. He has held meetings too, involving the parties concerned, with this aim in view.

Of its initially estimated cost of Rs 28 crore, a sum of Rs 22 crore has already been spent in executing the project. The State government has by this time sanctioned an additional amount of Rs 13 crore to get the rest of its work done.

The GMDA has proposed to install a new pillar at a distance of 80 metres from the Urvasi to replace the tilted pillar. But the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has opposed the move on the ground that it would pose threat to the archeological assets of the Urvasi. The Urvasi is a protected archaeological monument under the ASI.

The State Directorate of Archaeology has also objected to the project stating that the T-3 tower at Umananda is constructed at a distance of 30 metres from the outer wall of the Umananda Temple and at a distance of 27 metres from the Haragauri Temple, which comes under the ‘Prohibited Area’ of the monument as per Section 3 read with Notes of “The Assam Ancient Monuments and Records Act, 1959”, said State Archaeology Director (in-charge) Dr DR Kauli, while speaking to this correspondent.

The above legislation has specified 100 metres as “Prohibited Area” and 200 metres as “Regulated Area” beginning from the boundary limit of the area of a protected monument, said Dr Kauli.

The Archaeology Director has requested Cultural Affairs Minister of the State to use her good office to suggest the GMDA a changed location for the ropeway.

ASI Guwahati Circle Superintending Dr Milan Chauley told this correspondent that the rope of the project would pass at a distance of 48 metres from the Urvasi and from the navigational pillar, it is only 15 metres away, despite the fact that nothing could be erected within 100 metres of a protected monument and within 200 metres of such a monument, some structures could be erected with the no-objection certificate (NOC) from the National Monuments Authority (NMA).

In this case, it has been found that despite objection from the ASI, base and platform on the southern bank and one base on the Umananda Island were set up by the GMDA. When the ASI served a notice on the GMDA, only then the work stopped. The matter has been taken up with the NMA. Its decision on the matter is awaited, said Dr Chauley.
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Guwahati ropeway project is all set to take off as GMDA has invited tenders from reputed companies for the construction of wells in Brahmaputra river.

Check gmda website for more updates :).
Monuments Authority grants permission to GMDA

GUWAHATI, June 1 – The National Monuments Authority has recommended grant of permission to the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) for undertaking construction of the ambitious Guwahati-North Guwahati passenger ropeway over the Brahmaputra river with its trestle number T-3 in Umananda island, within the regulated area of the archaeological monuments of the Urvasi Island, near the Kamrup (Metro) Deputy Commissioner's (DC) office at Panbazar. The monuments of the Urvasi Island are of national importance and they are protected under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.

According to information available with this newspaper, the National Monuments Authority took the above decision on the second day of its 121st meeting held on April 10 last. This decision of the National Monuments Authority is believed to have removed a major hurdle in executing the Ropeway Project.

The GMDA had sought no-objection certificate (NOC) from the National Monuments Authority for reconstruction of a trestle foundation outside the Urvasi Island regulated area and erection of trestle number T-3 within the regulated area of the Urvasi Island with a total height of 44 metres for the purpose of construction of the ropeway.

It needs mention here that a trestle (T-2) near the Urvasi Island erected earlier for the purpose of constructing the ropeway got itself tilted due to some technical problems, which necessitated reconstruction of the trestle foundation (for T-2). The construction of the tilted trestle had led to some controversies resulting from the alleged failure of the GMDA to secure permission from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for its construction, as it was very close to the protected Urvasi Island monuments.

Moreover, on February 18, 2015, the Superintending Archaeologist of the Guwahati ASI Circle, stated in a letter to the State Archaeology Director that a joint inspection conducted by the ASI, State Archaeology Directorate and the GMDA officials found that the metal ropes of the ropeway would pass from a distance of 60.43 metres from the nearest sculpture of Urvasi Island and 16.51 metres from the lime concrete water marker pillar of the British period adjacent to Urvasi Island. So, the question of damage to the monument in the event of accident does not arise, he said.

The Superintending Archaeologist also maintained that the GMDA has relocated the pillar (T-2) well beyond 300 metres of the Urvasi Island. So the ASI’s objection raised earlier during the time of erection of the jack to rectify the tilt in the trestle (T-2) near the Urvasi Island has been addressed.

About a couple of years back, oppositions were voiced against the ropeway project also because of the installation of one of its trestles (T-3) in the Umananda Island, which is also an archaeologically important site. But, since it is yet to be notified as a protected archaeological site, it has remained a Government-owned area and the civil administration itself can handle the matters related with this island.

The then Deputy Commissioner of Kamrup (Metro) Ashutosh Agnihotri issued an NOC to the GMDA on March 31, 2014, stating, “The Government has no objection to the construction of foundation for a ropeway trestle at Umananda Island by the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority.” But the island’s location remained within the regulated area of the protected monuments of Urvasi Island, necessitating the National Monuments Authority’s clearance
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