Uncertainty haunts Guwahati drinking water projects
GUWAHATI, Aug 10: Stating that the Government of Assam undertook a noble effort to provide potable drinking water to all the households of Guwahati through the piped water supply scheme, the Asom Songrami Manch (ASOM) alleged that these projects have now been mired in uncertainty. Expressing concern over the inordinate delay of these projects, the ASOM submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Friday demanding his immediate intervention.
Notably, the State government, with financial assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), had launched the Assam Urban Infrastructure Investment Programme (AUIIP). AUIIP, being the implementing agency of the South-East Guwahati Water Supply Project had initiated the bidding process for various works under the said project. Significantly, the tendering process consumed more than three years. However, even after this, the progress of the work stands defeated as allocation of the tender/works to the eligible bidder has not happened as yet.
Taking note of such a gross negligence, ASOM general secretary Samar Jyoti Bezbaruah said, “The inordinate delay of the project has forced the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to reconsider their financial involvement in the said project.”
Bezbaruah also questioned as to why the State Government has constantly been changing the Project Directors (PDs) of AUIIP. Stating that the ADB has repeatedly issued advisories for adoption of necessary corrective measures to improve the progress, Bezbaruah said, “The State government’s apathy to the directive has motivated the ADB to cancel the proposed loan against this package.” He further said that the entire tendering process is crippled with the vehement collusion and inclination of certain forces in the principal seats of power for reasons best known to them.