South Central and North Guwahati Water Supply Project
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, May 3: The Comptroller and Accountant General (CAG) of India has blamed the lack of proper planning, survey and investigation on the part of the Assam Government for the South Central and North Guwahati Water Supply Project (SCNGWSP) under the Japan Intertiol Cooperation Agency (JICA) not seeing the light of the day.
In its report on Social, General and Economic (Non-PSUs) Sectors for the year ended March 31, 2016, the CAG said that the loan agreement between JICA and the Government of India had been signed on March 31, 2009. “According to the agreement, the JICA was to lend Rs 1,183 crore for the implementation of the Guwahati Water Supply Project against an estimated cost of Rs 1,427 crore. The fil disbursement of the loan was to be made in ten years from the date of the loan agreement and no further disbursement was to be made by JICA thereafter, unless otherwise agreed upon between JICA and the Government of India. The objective of the project was to provide 24-hour potable water supply with 100 per cent coverage of the citizens of the South Central and North Zones of Guwahati city,” the CAG report said, and added: “The project aimed to cover the water demand of the entire estimated population in 2005 within the project area and also to meet the water demand of the estimated population of 2040 by upgrading the capacity. As per the action plan prepared during the discussion between JICA and Guwahati Development Department (GDD), the project was split into 20 packages and the target date of the completion of all the project components (all construction works and consulting services) was fixed as May 2017.”
The CAG report said that test-check of records revealed that works relating to nine of the 20 packages were awarded to six contractors between January 2011 and March 2012 at a total contract value of Rs 836.17 crore, with the stipulation that the work be completed between July 2013 and February 2016. “Two other packages – engagement of Project Magement Consultant (PMC) and Institutiol engagement of Capacity Development Consultant (ICDC) – were awarded between February 2010 and September 2011 at contract values of Rs 78.50 crore and Rs 48.50 crore respectively. The works relating to the remaining nine packages were not awarded (till June 2016). Though the allotted works were to be completed between July 2013 and February 2016, till June 2016 physical progress ranging from only five per cent to 57 per cent in respect of construction works and 58 per cent to 94 per cent in respect of supply of pipes could be achieved with an overall physical progress of 46 per cent with an expenditure of Rs 298.27 crore,” the report said.
According to the report, the reasons for the poor physical progress of the work, according to the report, is attributed to the non-availability of land for execution of the project due to encroachment, delay in handing over of land, change in location and non-performance of the contractors.
The CAG report concludes that ‘due to absence of proper planning, survey and investigation, as also due to lack of timely action against non-performing contractors, the physical progress of only 46 per cent could be achieved in the last seven years under nine packages, while no progress was achieved in respect of the balance nine packages as this packages have not been awarded. As such, the possibility of completion of the work within the stipulated time – May 2017 – as per the loan agreement with JICA is remote’.