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Wasting public money: Dispur shows the way

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  3 Aug 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Gogoi’s ‘Developed Assam’

Our Correspondent

Dimoria, Aug 2: Five years back, villagers of Tamulikuchi in Jorabat had rejoiced when work on a water supply scheme implemented by the Public Health Engineering department commenced in their area. The PHE department had committed drinking water to over 500 villagers through this scheme.

Since then, over Rs 1 crore has been spent on the project, implemented behind the Assam Agriculture University campus at the village which comes under Dispur legislative assembly constituency, represented by Congress legislator Akon Bora.

Today, the project site lies derelict. Meanwhile, encroachers have been rearing fish in the incomplete tanks and breeding pigs in the pump house. Most of the machineries have been stolen.

It is unlikely that the villagers will ever get a drop of water from the scheme. Instead, some people are consuming fish reared in the tank that was dug for the project.

Angry villagers are now demanding a high-level probe into the fiasco, accusing the implementing officials of misappropriating the entire money released for the project.

"It is a sheer waste of public money. The project stands testimony to the incompetence of the State government. This is not the only instance. There are hundreds of other projects in villages across the State that have met a similar fate. Is this what the Chief Minister calls development?," wondered an irate village elder.

A village youth questioned the efficiency of the PHE officials, expressing doubts whether a proper plan was chalked out before executing the project. "I doubt if they (officials) conducted a proper study before executing the project. Else there is no reason why the project failed to take off. We are forced to think that such projects worth crores are undertaken in remote areas to plunder public money," he rued.

Local activists slammed the Chief Minister for failing to monitor execution of such projects going defunct. "Is there no accountability at all? Shouldn't the government hold the officials concerned responsible? Or are they licensed by the government to loot public funds?" they asked.

Dibyajyoti Medhi, vice president of All Kamrup District Students Union, has sought an explation from the state government as to why the project was not completed. "We also want to know how a government property can be encroached upon so openly? If the PHE department fails to clarify within seven days, it will have to face the music," he said, adding that the scheme depicts the "failure" of the local MLA and the PHE department.

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