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Shillong water supply projects hangs in limbo

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  18 Oct 2017 12:00 AM GMT

FROM A CORRESPONDENT

SHILLONG, Oct 17: Various issues are coming in the way of implementation of the Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme (GSWSS) Phase III. From landowners refusing to part away with their lands to funds constraints, the problems are aplenty.

According to official sources, the State government is facing difficulty in meeting the fund requirements needed to complete this very important project.

The Centre has not accepted the request of the State government to reconsider its decision for deduction of an amount of Rs 17 crore.

Earlier, the Centre had deducted the amount from the water supply scheme after the State government failed to conform to various reforms required under the Jawaharlal Nehru tiol Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).

“We had pleaded with the Centre to reconsider its decision for deducting the amount of Rs 17 crore. But the Centre refused to accept our request since it has called off the project from which the scheme was funded,” an official source revealed.

The State government had to resubmit the proposal of the Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme (GSWSS) Phase III in the Atal Mission for Rejuvetion and Urban Transformation (AMRUT).

AMRUT is the new me of the 10-year-old JNNURM by the rendra Modi government as a mark of respect to former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vaypayee.

Sources said the GSWSS now hangs on a balance as the State government has not able to allocate the funds.

“As it stand at present, the implementation of the scheme has been totally stopped. The implementation of the scheme will resume only after the fund is made available to the department concerned,” the official said.

Official sources said they will require the amount that was deducted for construction of reservoirs at four strategic points of the city.

“These reservoirs will be used for storage of water drawn from the main reservoir at the main dam at Mawphlang,” the official added. Moreover, official sources also said the State government has also proposed another Rs 46 crore to extend the coverage of GSWSS Phase III to the New Shillong Township (NST).

“We are contemplating to avail the funds from HUDCO loan,” the official added.

Meanwhile, the issue of availability of land for its implementation is also plaguing the project.

Meghalaya PHE Minister Dr Celestine Lyngdoh said the department has not able to construct the treatment plant for the project since land owners are not willing to part with their lands.

According to Lyngdoh, the department is also facing problem in laying pipes for bringing water from Mawphlang main reservoir to Shillong due to uvailability of land.

“The officers of the department have to negotiate with each land owner after every 50 or 100 meters of laying the pipes. It is very difficult to implement the project if the people don’t come forward to give a part of their land,” Dr Lyngdoh, who held a review meeting on the project in September, said.

Besides funds from the Centre, Dr Lyngdoh said the completion of the project would also depend on the willingness of the people to give their land for the project.

The GSWSS had missed several deadlines after former President Pratibha Patil laid its foundation stone on 22nd October 2008 at Mawphlang, where the main water reservoir is located. The project was estimated at Rs 193.74 crore.

The GSWSS phase III is expected to generate 24 million litres of water per day and provide up to 135 litres per head per day of drinking water for over five lakh residents of Shillong and its suburbs. At present, phases I and II of GSWSS generate only 85 litres of drinking water per head per day.

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