RITURAJ BORTHAKUR GUWAHATI, Dec 1 - It is said, this hillock was used as a surveillance post by the great army commander Lachit Borphukan during the historic Saraighat battle. This historic hillock (Barphukanor tilla), which houses the mid-nineteenth century Deputy Commissioner’s bungalow built by the British, is again witnessing a flurry of activities. The action, this time, is aimed at reviving the fast fading distinctiveness of the site.The Guwahati Smart City Limited is giving a new look to the hillock, setting up a slew of amenities and public space.
A 3-D model of a part of the proposed Barphukanor tilla renovation project. – AT photo
“We plan to inaugurate a part of the project by April next year. It will have two jetties, an open air theatre, an amusement park and public space,” Guwahati Smart City Limited (GSCL) managing director Ashutosh Agnihotri said.
The Deputy Commissioner’s bungalow on the hillock is being converted into a heritage museum. “We have roped in a heritage architect for the project. We want to convert the bungalow into what it was in the mid-nineteenth century. Progress of the work is good,” GSCL AGM (technical) Asif Ahmed told The Assam Tribune.
The Scottish-type bungalow has undergone several changes over the years. Wooden floors have been replaced with cemented floors and thatched roof by corrugated tin sheets. Two additional brick-built rooms have also been added to house the Deputy Commissioner’s residential office.
Beautification of the Barphukanor tilla is the first of a series of projects lined up in the Smart City proposal.
Agnihotri said the GSCL intends to complete three projects of the proposal in the next two years – the second being development of the Borsola Beel and the third being installation of solar smart poles.
The Borsola Beel project includes construction of a water treatment plant, cleaning and resection of the water body and development of parks.
“The focus will be on restoring the water body, creating public space for cycling etc., setting up facilities for boating and increasing the water retention capacity of the beel,” the managing director said.
Bidding for the Borsola project and smart poles will be organised soon, he said.
The solar smart poles will have LED lights, wifi, surveillance systems, sensors and traffic regulators. They will be connected to the central command and control centre to be set up later.
A few weeks back, the GSML had roped in Tata Consulting Engineers as the project management consultants for the Smart City mission. There are three components of the Smart City project – development of the water bodies, development of the Brahmaputra riverfront and pan-city solutions.