BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, Feb 18: The fate of yet another Public Health Engineering (PHE) project worth Rs 15.37 crore is hanging in the balance in Assam. Owing to red tapism and lack of coordition between the implementing agencies and the authorities concerned, the incomplete five-storey office complex of the proposed ‘Central Monitoring and Design Centre’ at Hengerabari is now lying open to the vagaries of Mother ture.
It may be mentioned that the administrative approval for renovation, upgradation and repairing of the Centre against 10% Felxi Fund of NRDWP (tiol Rural Drinking Water programme) was sanctioned by the Public Health Engineering Department, Government of Assam, on October 18, 2014.
Talking to The Sentinel, an official source said that the constructing firm has already carried out work amounting to about Rs six crore whereas they have been released Rs 2.5 crore. Thus, its unpaid balance stands at Rs. 3.5 crore. However, as the constructing firm has not yet received the balance, it has stopped all work at the site since about six months.
Another glitch appeared in the office memorandum from the Department of Expenditure of the Central Government on September 6, 2016, wherein it disallowed the use of Flexi Funds in certain specific occasions. It clearly mentioned: “It may also be noted that the purpose of flexi-funds is to eble the States to satisfy local needs and undertake innovations in areas covered by the Centrally Sponsored Schemes.” Noting: “Flex Funds should not be used to substitute State’s own schemes and project expenditures’, it further added “It should also not be used for construction/repair of offices/residences of government officials, general publicity, purchase of vehicles/furniture for offices, distribution of consumer durables/non-durables, incentives/rewards for staff and other unproductive expenditures.”
Against this development, the entire project appears to be in the backburner of the State PHE Department.