The five-year term of the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC), which was formed on July 31, 2013, was over on Tuesday.
While addressing a press conference in the city at 12.30 pm on Tuesday, outgoing GMC Mayor Sarania said, “The term of the present GMC body will be over by 4 pm today. Until a new body is formed through election, the State Government would hand over the power of the corporation to an administrator to run the corporation.”
Sarania, while coming down heavily on the previous Congress-led Government, alleged, “The GMC had received limited funds from the former Congress-led Government to work for the development of the city. The GMC body during the previous Congress-ruled Government received Rs 35.92 crore in the financial year 2014-15 and Rs 20.49 crore in the financial year 2015-16.”
“But during the BJP rule in the State, we received Rs 19.94 crore in the financial year 2016-17 and Rs 63.98 crore in the financial year 2017-18,” he added.
Asserting that they have done a lot of development work during their tenure, Sarania said they set up three transfer stations for solid waste management in the city – Athgaon, GMCH campus and Satgaon (not completed yet).
It may be mentioned that after being elected to power, the GMC was formed by the Congress in July 31, 2013 under the leadership of Abir Patra, who expired on June 15, 2018. But the BJP formed a new GMC body following Abir Patra-led GMC body lost power in 2016 after some members of the Corporation joined the BJP.
Informing that the rank of Guwahati in Swachh Survekshan is 206, Sarania said, “We have also installed one organic waste converter plant at GMCH campus, one bio-methanation plant at Paltan Bazar.”
He also informed that the GMC during the BJP rule constructed 6 public toilets in the city. The toilets have been constructed at Khanapara, GMCH campus, Bhangagarh, Panbazar, Six Mile, Ganeshguri, MG Road at Fancy Bazar and Adabari. “But in the first 3 years of the GMC tenure, the previous Congress-led body installed only two toilets – Fancy Bazar and Nepali Mandir,” said Sarania.
Sarania also said, “We also received Rs 75.78 crore for flood mitigation in the city and we were able to control the flood problem to a large extent,” adding, “Whereas, the previous Congress-led Government released only Rs 38 crore and the Congress-ruled body did nothing to tackle the flood situation in the city.”
However, Sarania admitted that there has been lack of coordination among the GMC and the Railways, Guwahati Metropolitan Authority (GMDA), Irrigation Department and PWD in solving the flood problem in the city.
Sarania added, “The Railways never send any authorised official to the review meetings of the GMC, who can understand the problems and put forward solutions. That is the main problem we had faced in finding out solutions to the flood problem in the city. Still I can claim that we have done a lot as far as the flood problem in the city is concerned.”
There is need of amendment to the Gauhati Municipal Corporation Act, 1971, he said.
When asked when the next GMC election would take place, Sarania refused to comment. However, he said, “The State Government will take decision in the matter of election. According to GMC Act, it is the responsibility to hand over the responsibility of the corporation,” adding, “If the Government does not issue any order by today, then it will appoint a Secretary level officer or a political leader as an administrator of the GMC.”
Talking to Northeast Now, GMC Commissioner Monalisa Goswami said, “The term of the present GMC body was over today. Now, the Government will take decision whether the term of the body would be extended or about conducting the election for a new body.”