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Water resource contractors' body hails CM's stand

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  31 March 2017 12:00 AM GMT



GUWAHATI, March 30: The All Assam Water Resources Contractors’ Association (AAWRCA) has hailed the tough stand taken by Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal against the State Water Resource department officials in respect of repair works of embankments and erosion protection in the State.

Addressing a press conference here today, All Assam Water Resources Contractors’ Association executive president Nilakanta Das said that the people of Assam have a negative notion about the activities of the State Water Resource department for a long time.

“So to change such a notion of the people, a reform is necessary in the department,” Das said.

Taking stern note of delays plaguing repair works of embankments in the State, Chief Minister Sonowal had sounded a warning to all officers concerned of Water Resources department of dire consequences if the works are not completed in time.

The Chief Minister had said that a record amount of Rs 347.67 crore had been released under SDRF for carrying out strengthening and repairing of embankments and erosion protection works.

Stating that embankments are the major safeguards of rural economy against the ravages of flood, the Chief Minister had set a deadline of April 30 to complete all strengthening and repairing works of embankments, failure of which will lead to stringent action against erring officials.

Das also sought intervention of the Chief Minister in respect of according approval of schemes under SDRF by Revenue Department. He said that the process of embankment repair and other works gets delayed due to delay in according approval of schemes by the Revenue department and non release of fund by Fince department on time.

“As an association involved in the activities of State Water Resource department, it is known to us that even though State Water Resource department incurred around Rs 345 crore for implementation of 168 schemes under Revenue and Disaster Magement head in October –November last, the Revenue and Disaster Magement department sanctioned Rs 203 crore against 98 schemes of the first phase in mid-January only. And due to some uvoidable reasons and problems arising out of E-tendering, the work has started in February,” Das said.

He said that the process of work against the fund of Rs 142 crore which was sanctioned by the Revenue department against 70 schemes of the second phase is still in the tender collection stage through E-tendering.

The department has not yet been able to issue work order.

Das alleged that the Fince department has unnecessarily delayed releasing fund of the department.

“And the fund of Rs 345 crore against 168 schemes will not be released now as there is no provision of releasing fund under SDRF head without completion of 100% works,” he alleged.

He further alleged that a total of Rs 1400 crore under FMP head still remained unpaid to the contractors of the Water Resource department.

“This has not only affected the contractors, the people of the State will also be affected by it. If the State government does not release Rs 115 crore under FMP, there will also be an uncertainty in the release of central fund. And in the absence of central fund, the contractors will have no other options but to stop works. As a result, the flood-hit people will suffer for which the State government will be responsible,” Das added.

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