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Sarma refused to assume liability for previous government's debt: Muhi

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  10 May 2017 12:00 AM GMT

By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, May 9: An outburst made by All Assam Water Resources Contractors' Association (AAWRCA) president Muhi Borgohain before the media today reeks of a trace of slur on State Fince Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma who, according to Borgohain, reasoned as to why the Sarbanda Sonowal Government would assume the liability for Tarun Gogoi Government's debt.

Talking to newsmen at Guwahati Press Club here today, Borgohain said: "The State Fince Minister is not at all eager to solve the twin problems of flood and erosion in the State. The glaring example of this is that he didn't allocate any funds for the Water Resources Department in the Budget for 2016-17. Even if funds for the department were allocated in a supplementary budget later, no funds were released for the department in last fiscal."

Borgohain said that a huge amount of funds for FMP schemes have not been released by the Centre as yet, and Dispur is taking a sweet political stand on that. "When we met Fince Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for the release of FMP funds, he made three points clear - (i) asked us not to do any FMP schemes. If we had done any, he asked us to forget that. (ii) He said he can release the state share of FMP schemes, and added that if the Centre doesn't have funds to release its share for FMP schemes in Assam, how can the State release its share? (iii) He questioned as to why the Sarbanda Sonowal Government would assume the liability for Tarun Gogoi Government's debt."

Borgohain said that the association would resort to gherao the office of Chief Engineer of the Water Resources Department on May 20 in Guwahati and lock all sub-divisiol offices of the Department in all districts on May 30 in protest against the Centre not releasing funds for FMP schemes. "If the government doesn't act even after that, from June we're not going to do any schemes that are needed to be done immediately," he said.

On the deadline set by the Chief Minister on the construction of embankments in the State, Borgohain said: "The deadline set by the Chief Minister is not applicable in the Rs 142-crore 70 schemes approved in fiscal 2016-17 for which funds were allocated in the Budget of 2017-18."

On the 98 schemes worth Rs 203 crore in phase 1 which come under the deadline set by the Chief Minister, Borgohain said: "Thirty schemes have been complete, and 45 others are almost complete. Twenty-three schemes have not been complete as yet. The success rate is 90-98 per cent."

Borgohain cited that some contractors of Tezpur had taken a number of schemes within a short span of time through e-tendering. "They, however, haven't been able to complete the work of five schemes," he said, and added that while the tenders were collected very late in the schemes of gaon, Barak Valley and Diphu, five schemes could not progress due to cases pending in the court."

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