GUWAHATI: The BJP-led government at Dispur did make it known soon after coming to power that it would prepare a list on all works left half done in the State. Based on priorities, while some of such projects would be carried forward, the less important ones would be discarded.
Government works left half-constructed are very common in the State, and some of them have been lying half-done for years. Spending money for a project that cannot be given shape is a loss to the State exchequer. Resuming works of such half-constructed projects after long time is also loss of money since such incidents lead to cost and time overruns. There lies the importance of a priority list on such half-done projects.
The construction of Beltola Market was started way back in 2009-10, and the work has since been left at the ground stage. The Fatasil Bazar has also been left half constructed since 2014. Half-constructed RCC bridges are too many in the State. Even there are complete RCC bridges lying idle due to lack of approach roads. What’s the use of erecting a bridge that has no approach roads? The problem, it seems, has been inextricably intertwined.
According to official sources, works are left-half done mainly for want of funds. “Sometimes, the Finance department releases the first installment of a project and then keeps queering while releasing the successive installments. And in most of the cases, the Finance department doesn’t allocate funds for some ongoing projects, and that leads departments to abandon projects,” a source said.
The source further said that many departments don’t approach the Finance department for the remaining installments of some projects so as not to face queries. Some of the projects, according to the source, were not started on priority basis, and that leads to such problems.
PWD sources said that the department has to approach the Finance Department so many times and sometimes they may not get funds allocated. In such a situation, the sources said, they have no way out to stop the work. Sources further say that when a work is resumed after a long time, there is always cost escalation. “The contractors don’t want to complete such works in earlier rates. It so happens sometimes that a government starts a project but fails to complete it in its term. The next government many not lay stress on such a project. This way projects suffer,” a source said.
A senior official feels that there should be a mechanism for the release funds for a project in total at one go so that the project executing departments don’t have to approach the Finance Department again and again.
Sources in the Finance Department said: “We need to be convinced for the release of each and every penny. We don’t block any department’s funds if they approach us in the right way. However, in most of the cases, the departments have lacunae in their projects, including non-submission of utilization certificates of earlier installments.”