GUWAHATI: Fates of 94 public welfare projects are hanging in the balance even after the Assam Government spent tax payers' money to the tune of Rs 586 crores during the last 10 years.
Among the incomplete projects are 37 in the PWD followed by 36 in the Irrigation Department and 21 in the Water Resources Department.
The original estimated cost of all these projects was Rs 872 crores. The progress of execution of the projects is in between 25 to 60 per cent. Even though the estimated costs and deadlines for completion of these projects were revised on several occasions, the fates of the projects are left in the lurch.
Execution of the projects was carried out between 2011-12 and 2018-19.
The Comptroller & Auditor General of India (CAG) in its report that ended on March 2019, found the execution status of these 94 projects through sample-check survey. It has asked the State Government to immediately take effective steps to complete the projects without any further delay to avoid cost overrun due to time overrun.
"Blocking of funds on incomplete projects/works impinges negatively on the quality of expenditure and deprives the State of the intended benefits for prolonged periods. Further, the funds borrowed for implementation of these projects during the respective years proved futile and the State had to share the extra burden in terms servicing of debt and interest liabilities," the CAG observed.
Sources said that there are various reasons for such status of various public welfare projects. Many contractors quote low prices in the tender process to get the projects; but they later face financial constraints to complete the same. Land acquisition in many such projects becomes tedious and time consuming. Non-release of the allotted funds by the Finance department at regular intervals as well as failure of the departments to submit utilization certificates (UCs) in time is among the other reasons.
At the end, tax payers' money is wasted. Dispur, as usual, looks the other way.
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