GUWAHATI, Oct 2 - Residents of Kanaklata Path, Kumarpara, have expressed concern at the ‘reopening’ of the Haryana Bhawan, which had been closed down by the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) following a Gauhati High Court order.
The High Court’s directive had come in view of the fact that the Haryana Bhawan had no parking facility. The GMC had asked the Bhawan authorities to solve the matter of having parking space – a must to get licence – within a stipulated period of time. But, when they failed to provide a parking area, GMC officials sealed the Bhawan after physical verification a few months back.
“The Municipal Secretary issued a notice (No.GPL/UC/18/107/2012/89/91 dated 01.09.2016) asking both the parties to be present in a hearing scheduled on September 6, 2016 at 11 am. During the hearing, representatives of Haryana Bhawan, when asked, clearly stated that they could not show any plot of land nearby exclusively for their parking space,” Dr BP Das, a resident, said.
Dr Das added that a notice (No.GPL/UC/18/107/2012/90/126-A dated 09.09.2016) was abruptly issued on September 9, which was signed by S Deka, a councillor of Geetanagar area, and the Bhawan was de-sealed and allowed to hold ‘small’ functions using sound system up to 10 pm.
The residents of the area, who have been the worst affected by the congestion and high-decibel sound pollution created at the Haryana Bhawan, expressed surprise as to how a councillor could issue and sign an order like that violating all the rules laid down by the GMC authorities for all the community halls in the city.
When contacted, Deka sought to refute the allegation, saying that the GMC order against holding of marriage ceremonies and other social and community functions at the Haryana Bhawan was still in force and that the Bhawan had been opened subject to the condition that it cannot hold any public function there.
“The local residents haven’t understood the matter. How can we permanently close down a building? The Haryana Bhawan management cannot hold functions as it lacks the mandated norms, but they can still use the building for other purposes, like giving it on rent to offices, etc, or using it as a guest house. It’s none of the GMC’s business if the building is used for other purposes without causing any public nuisance,” he said.
The local residents, however, are apprehensive that the building would still be used for holding public functions. “When the government is planning to develop Guwahati as a smart city, how can a community hall without any parking area of its own be permitted – that too by a councillor – to hold functions?” the residents wondered. They are now planning to move the court seeking redressal of their grievances.