Assam government failed to use even half the funds Centre provided
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, April 24: It is a classic case which sets at ught all claims of efficient governce made by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.
In a State where nearly half the households do not have drinking water facilities, the government could not utilize even half the funds made available to fill the gap.
According to a Central government report, the Assam government could spend only 45.83 per cent of the funds made available last year under the tiol Rural Drinking Water Programme under the Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation.
In the last fiscal, while the opening balance was Rs 43.19 crore, the total available fund under the drinking water programme was Rs 257.3 crore. The State government maged to spend only Rs 117.91 crore.
As a result, the State government could cover only 21 (5.68 per cent) of the targeted 370 habitations. The target was to reach 1.18 lakh people, but only 6,000 people were covered in the year.
In contrast, states like Kartaka, Rajasthan, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh could achieve cent per cent of their targets under the centrally sponsored programme.
According to the last census report, there are 63.67 lakh households in the State. Of these, only 54.8 per cent have drinking water facilities within their household premises. About 10 per cent of the households still depend on sources like rivers, tanks, ponds and cals. The BJP, in the recently concluded assembly polls, had made poor availability of drinking water in the State one of the poll issues. BJP president Amit Shah had in a number of election rallies targeted the State Congress government for “failure” on this front. The BJP has also been claiming that the State government has utterly failed to give utilization certificates amounting to crores of central funds over the last ten years.
On his part, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has been alleging that the NDA government has slashed funds for various central schemes meant for the State.