Five Assam State Transport Corporation projects worth crores are still incomplete
A number of infrastructural development projects worth crores of rupees are yet to see the light of the day.
GUWAHATI: A number of infrastructural development projects worth crores of rupees are yet to see the light of the day. Interestingly, many such schemes meant for the ASTC (Assam State Transport Corporation) as a whole are still in the doldrums. Sources informed that five such projects date back to fiscal 2017-2018. Three of these ambitious projects were mentioned in the Budget speech of the then Finance Minister.
The Budget speech in 2017-18, said, "Our government has decided to set up a mini ISBT (Inter State Bus Terminal) at Khanapara for the benefit of the passengers travelling to Upper Assam. Two more ISBTs – one at Tezpur and the other at Kokrajhar — will also be set up."
When contacted, a top ASTC official told The Sentinel on Thursday, "Presently, 45% progress has been achieved for construction of the mini ISBT at Khanapara. On the other hand, 39% of construction work has been achieved in the Tezpur ISBT project. However, because of land problems, the work of the ISBT at Kokrajhar has not been started as yet."
The estimated cost of the mini-ISBT at Khanapara — on August 22, 2017, when its work commenced — was Rs 9.82 crore. Now, the project cost has escalated to Rs 12.26 crore. The scheduled date of completion of this project is November 26, 2022.
The ASTC official added, "The mini-ISBT at Khanapara is being erected on a five-bigha plot of land near National Highway-37 (Koinadhora). But, the construction work came to a grinding halt during the Coronavirus-induced lockdown since March 2020.
"Though the work has resumed now, we hope to complete the project in 2022-2023."
On the other hand, with respect to the ISBT in Tezpur, the ASTC official stated, "The Rs 28.63-crore project is being set up on a 22-bigha plot. The work began on August 28, 2018, and it is scheduled to be completed on August 27, 2021. The physical progress of this project is 39 per cent."
On the ISBT in Kokrajhar, it has been learnt that "the project has not been started as the erstwhile administration of BTC (Bodoland Territorial Council) — now known as BTR (Bodoland Territorial Region) — has not provided 27 bighas of land sought for the purpose by the ASTC."
On the remaining two other infrastructural development projects, it has been learnt that the ASTC station building at Majuli; and the DTO (District Transport Office)-cum-RTA (Regional Transport Authority) Secretary office at Nagaon – are also running behind the schedule.
On the Majuli project, the ASTC official enumerated, "Around 91 per cent work of the Rs 1.60 crore project of the Majuli ASTC station building is over. It began on November 12, 2017 and was scheduled to be completed on August 18, 2018. The pending work includes soil filling and construction of the guard wall. Now, we expect the project to be completed in the first part of 2023."
Regarding the construction of the Rs 1.85 crore DTO-cum-RTA Secretary office at Dimaruguri in Nagaon, the ASTC official said, "This scheme in Nagaon was started on November 1, 2017, with a target schedule of October 6, 2019. But, only 60 per cent work of this project is over."