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Is this the same old story – throwing funds down the drain?

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  4 March 2018 12:00 AM GMT

Rs 75.78 crore set to be released for cleaning 335 drains and four rivers in Guwahati; time stipulated for cleaning of drains is 45 days

By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, March 3: Official sources say that Rs 75.78 crore is going to be released for cleaning the clogged drains in Guwahati. Rs 75.78 crore is an amount not to be sniffed at. However, will it serve the purpose? The contractors have barely three months to get things done, in all honest to goodness!

Every year funds are released for cleaning city drains on the eve of the monsoon, leading to shoddy works and throwing funds down the drains. In most of the cases, contractors get little time to get works done the way it should have been. However, this does not make contractors suffer loss. Rather a section of them gets ample opportunities to compromise with quality of work, paving the way for swindling of funds. Releasing funds too late, thereby creating a March-end mad rush, by Dispur has been a long row to hoe. The change of the guard at Dispur in 2016 was viewed as bringing in desired changes in all spheres. However, things just failed to happen that way.

According to meteorologists, Guwahati is likely to receive heavy rainfall this year. This is more of a warning than a forecast for the denizens of Guwahati who might be praying to the Rain God to grant the city scanty rainfall.

According Guwahati Mayor, Rs 75.78 crore is for cleaning some 335 drains and four rivers in the city by dividing the work in as many as 54 packages. E-tendering has already been issued for the packages, and some of them have already got approval. The time stipulated for the cleaning of drains in the city, according to GMC sources, is just 45 days. The moot questions are: is this feasible and won’t it be a rerun of messy works which city witnessed in the not-so-remote past?

A reality check says that the works of cleaning city drains has been just started and the stipulated time for cleaning of drains is 45 days. The GMC has set many a wrong precedent in time and cost overruns while getting works done – be that in implementation of the four water supply projects now under construction in the city, construction of roads and drains in Guwahati or cleaning of drains. The construction of drains and bridges is still to be completed in the city.

According to sources in the civic body, it is going to form public fora in each and every ward so as to see the work of cleaning drains. The fora are also going to monitor disposal of garbage in their respective areas.

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