Approach hiccups for cricket stadium
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, March 15: Just imagine the would-be fate of a person if his/her eyes and the brain are seriously out of sync. This is the exact fate which Dispur has been under. Here is an instance that exposes how seriously the PWD and the APCDL are out of sync, leading to the wastage of Rs 102.50 lakh from the State exchequer.
State PWD prepared an estimate for the construction of an RCC bridge over the Bharalu on the approach road to the Cricket Stadium at Barsapara, Guwahati from the Embankment and Draige (E&D) Road. The RCC bridge was to provide facility for movement of around 10,000 spectators from the western side of the stadium. It was thought to be an integral part of the connectivity to the stadium as well as overall road connectivity to the underdeveloped part of the Greater Guwahati City.
According to the CAG, the administrative approval for the construction of the RCC bridge, along with approach roads, were obtained on December 23, 2011 and the technical sanction were accorded on September 7, 2012 for Rs 148.53 lakh under untied Special Central Assistance (SCA)-Plan for 2011-12. The approved estimates included Rs 11 lakh being the lump-sum cost of shifting of electric posts, their re-erection, illumition etc., on the approach road of the bridge.
However, it has come to light during scrutiny long after by PWD ® Guwahati City Division in January 2016 that the department had awarded the work to Modern Construction in May 2012 at a bid price of Rs 139.70 lakh with the stipulation to complete the work within nine months from the date of issue of the order, the CAG said. The contractor commenced the work on May 24, 2012. However, after completion of 75 per cent of the work spending a whopping Rs 102.50 lakh, the contractor stopped the work in August 2013 as the electric posts had not been shifted from the approach road.
Further scrutiny of records revealed that following a request from PWD ® executive engineer Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd (APDCL) had submitted an estimates for an amount of Rs 17.69 lakh for shifting the electric poles from the alignment of the approach road as ‘deposit work’. The executive engineer expressed in July 2014 his department’s ibility to bear the cost of shifting due to paucity of funds and made a request to shift the posts from APDCL’s own resources, the CAG report said. Till date neither any payment was made by the PWD nor has APDCL shifted posts from the alignment of the approach road.
It has been evident, the CAD remarked, that due to lack of proper planning in handing over of clear worksite to the contractor prior to commencement of work, the bridge could not be put into use for the past three years rendering the expenditure of Rs 102.50 lakh unproductive. The remaining work to be done within the origil estimate is remote considering. Thus the failure on the part of the departments concerned has led to the failure of the very purpose of the project, besides incurring an unproductive expenditure of Rs 102.50 lakh.
Lack of harmony between the PWD and the APCDL is also glaring at the site of the bridge over the Bharalu on the main road in front of Barsapara Cricket Stadium gate. Three electric posts on bridge have been standing tall like ‘bold witnesses’ to the fact that the PWD and the APCDL have all along been seriously out of sync, especially when their logjam causes serious problems for the public. These three posts are seen erected on the footpath of the bridge, putting an abrupt end to the footpath there itself.
Ranji Trophy is held regularly at the stadium, besides other first class cricket matches. The problem by these two bridges over the Bharalu will be felt badly only when there are intertiol cricket events.
The stadium constructed by ACA is undoubtedly a world class one. It is nearing completion. However, it is set to face an adverse impact from the lack of proper coordition between PWD and APCDL. This apart, the roads in the area are not as wide as they should have been.