The Government has changed, but there’s no change in the March-end mad rush; it’s a continuum of old mindset that’s spoiling the game; and it’s the people who are the ultimate sufferers for no fault of theirs at all
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Feb 28: The Government has changed at Dispur, but there has been no change in its March-end mad rush to get works done – no matter how shoddy they are.
Each of the departments of the State is in a mad rush to get things done by March 31, 2018. They are busy now to issue tenders for works, issue deadlines for works and sending proposals to the Fince Department and what not. This is bound to happen as the State Government could spend only 44 per cent of the Budget allocations till January, 2018. When the departments are to spend the remaining 56 per cent of budget allocations in just two months, how come they spend the amount in a sensible manner? Such a situation leads to shoddy works and embezzlement of funds. Even if the departments can spend 36 per cent of the remaining funds, it will be considered an achievement. However, will it happen in the right way? This is an elephantine task.
Of late, there has been a spree of setting deadlines for various departments to get works done by March 31, 2018. The Chief Minister himself has set the deadline of April for the completion of repair works of all embankments in the State. PWD Minister Parimal Shuklabaidya has also set a deadline for construction and repair of roads and bridges.
When the Annual Budget 2017-18 was presented, it was spelt out in no uncertain terms that the funds would be released quarterly for their spending round the year. Things, however, failed to turn into reality as it had been announced. Here comes the role of the State Fince Department that works as the nerve centre of the entire system. However, things just fail to happen. Where is the rot? It is something the department has to rack its brains on.
A small example would suffice. Take the case of cleaning the clogged drains in Guwahati, to be specific the Bahini River in front of Down Town Hospital. If one has a quick look at the drain, one will only see heaps of plastic clogging it. Need one say more how notorious is solid waste like plastic? Plastic is allowed to choke the city drains all throughout the year, and now the process for issuing work orders for cleaning the drains is under way. When the city roads were decked up recently for Advantage Assam, the drains fringing them were choked with plastic and other garbage. If the GMC does not have the wherewithal to clean the city drains, why does not it give the responsibility of keeping the drains clean to private companies under their CSR (corporate social responsibility) activities?
The entire situation can be summed up with just two questions. Where are the desired changes? Is there any, in true sense of the term?