From our Correspondent
AZARA, May 11: Benjamin Franklin rightly said ‘if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail’. This saying fits Dispur’s plan for the state-of-the-art swimming training centre at Uparhali under Palasbari LAC in South Kamrup like a glove.
Apparently in order to generate interest of aquatics among the rural populace, the Assam Government did set up the state-of-the-art Uparhali Swimming Training Centre at Uparhali near Azara under Palasbari LAC in 2009, spending Rs 36 lakh tied aid near the Uparhali Primary Health Centre (PHC). Then State Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma iugurated the swimming training centre on September 6, 2009. The activities of the training centre continued for a few months, but stopped abruptly as Dispur’s interest for it evaporated into thin air.
This is a perfect example of Dispur trying to build a castle in the air. The swimming training centre needs at least Rs 30,000 a month to meet its expenditure, including the salaries of two instructors (Rs 6,000 a month each) and that of a water cleaner (Rs 2,000 a month). This apart, there are expenditure like power tariff and water cleaning. Where will the funds come from?
Dispur had its own calculations. It might have aimed to run the swimming training centre with fees collected from trainees and others who want to swim there. In order to make the plan working, a committee was formed with the Uparhali PHC subdivisiol medical officer as secretary. The fees fixed were Rs 100 a month for each of the trainee and Rs 50 for each adult just for swimming 45 minutes. Initially Dispur doled out Rs 1.58 lakh to the training centre that also collected funds from other sources. The Centre could be run just seven months, and it stopped when Dispur stopped further funding.
One may say ‘what is all the fuss about’. There are many things that cannot be overlooked. If Dispur does not have enough resources to run such a swimming training centre, why should it set up the centre in the first place? There are many areas in the state that have no such facilities. How come one say with certainty that it was not a poll gimmick? Even if that has a remote possibility, where the funds spent on the project will come from? Remaining at the helm of affairs of the state exchequer does not allow one to squeeze it for not useful purpose..