CITY CORRESPONDENT GUWAHATI, Sept 30 - The renovated and redecorated Gandhi Mandap, located atop the Sarania Hills, is all set to open for the public on October 2 in keeping with the arrangements made for the celebration of the 150th birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi.
The renovated Gandhi Mandap as seen on Monday evening. â€“ Photo: Samarendra Sarma
It is believed that the refurbished Gandhi Mandap will become a popular destination for the people of all age groups, but the slope of the hillock where this monument is located is so much damaged by anthropogenic activities that a threat of devastating landslide looms large.
In the Sarania Hills area, incidents of landslide become a regular phenomenon, especially during the rainy days. Even a few days ago, a landslide took place on the edge of the boundary of Gandhi Mandap. Now, with the completion of refurbishment work, many other landslide-prone spots on the edge of the boundary of Gandhi Mandap have been identified.
“The slope of the hill along the boundary of Gandhi Mandap lacks sufficient green cover. So, at any moment, landslide could lead to severe disaster in the area,” said a resident of the area.
The district administration has recently carried out an eviction drive in the area, but it covered only the small shops and not the big constructions which mushroomed on the road towards Gandhi Mandap.
“During the recent eviction drive, we have evicted around 35 shops in the area. Those shops were the places of many anti-social activities. The area is witnessing many other constructions, too, but to evict those houses we have to go through some formalities. In connection with the matter, we have already requested the Forest department to conduct a survey of the Sarania Hills,” said Damodar Barman, the Circle Officer of the Guwahati Circle.
Speaking on the issue, Moloy Bora, Managing Director of the Guwahati Smart City Limited, said, “We will carry out a soil treatment work along the boundary of Gandhi Mandap soon, for which, official formalities are being taken up.”
The refurbishment of Gandhi Mandap has been carried out by the Guwahati Smart City Limited with a cost of around Rs 3.10 crore. On October 2, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal may formally open the place for the public.