FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
SILCHAR, Jan 1: The Government of Assam had sanctioned a scheme for improvement and widening of Silchar-Kalain Road from one and half lane to double lane under the eleventh five year plan. The work began from June 16, 2010 and completed on June 27, 2015. Budhmol Baid was the contractor and the works were supervised by Subhask Kumar Gupta, executive engineer, PWD Silchar NEC, division II. The total amount sanctioned for the project was Rs.59 crore 25 lakh. There had been many malpractices and the works done were of very poor quality and not as per the plan.
S Viswathan, IAS, Deputy Commissioner of Cachar, has already directed a show cause notice regarding the malpractices done in the project and called S K Gupta to explain why a huge amount of undue fincial benefit was provided to the contractor. During scrutiny of the demand proposal submitted by S K Gupta, it has come to notice that a difference of Rs.119.13 lakhs has been shown against the proposal. This huge amount was given to Budhmol Baid. Recovery of this undue amount should be done by the department as it is a clear misappropriation of government money.
These were among the points raised by Baharul Islam Barbhuiya, chief convener of All Barak Youth Students’ Association (ABYSA), in a press-meet held recently in the Association office. Baharul said that ABYSA has always faugh for better road connectivity of the valley. Silchar-Kalain Road which is a crucial road, is in a pathetic state. This road connects the valley with other states of Assam. In 2009, crores of rupees were spent for the improvement of the vital connectivity. Besides, for improvement and widening of Silchar-Kalain Road from one and half lane to double lane more than Rs.59 crore was sanctioned by the government, but Budhmol Baid, who is politically very well connected person, misappropriated the amount.
Within two months of completion of the project, there are craters and potholes all over the 29 km stretch of the road. The standard of works was of very poor quality. Baharul further that Budhmol Baid has a very bad record of works and is more of a political agent than a contractor. Baharul further alleged that Budhmol is a smuggler who has illegally smuggled stones, sand and other minerals from the district to other parts of the country particularly Tripura and Mizoram.
Baharul demanded that S K Gupta, who retired recently, should not get any pension or other retirement benefits and he should also not be allowed to go out of the valley till the inquiry gets over. Baharul further demanded that Budhmol Baid and his company ABCI-JLS (JV) should be blacklisted. Baharul informed that an inquiry in this matter was held by Additiol District Commissioner Varma, but no action has yet been taken against the accused. ABYSA has lodged a complaint against Baid and Gupta and a case was filed on December 24, 2015 in this regard. The Association demanded a high level inquiry into the matter. Among those who spoke on the press-briefing included Jasim Uddin Laskar, Kamalava Das and Shahjahan Mazumdar.
On being asked by this scribe if the allegation that stones and other mineral resources are being smuggled from the district particularly from Balacherra, N And, DFO (Territorial) of Cachar, refuted the claim as completely baseless. And said the department is keeping a tight vigil and all such illegal activities are under control. The mohaldars will not allow anyone to smuggle any minerals from the areas. The government gets revenue through the mahaldar, the administration will not allow anyone to smuggle minerals from the district at any cost.