Poor performance by Dispur robs state of funds

Contractors blame it on Dispur for delay in Water Resource schemes

By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, February 18: Poor performance on the part of Dispur costs the people of the State dearly, and this is glaring in incidents like crores of Central funds that keep coming to the state going back to the Centre due to failure on the part of Dispur to utilize them. It is the same old story that the Tarun Gogoi-led Congress government in Assam has been mired in for the past 15 years.

The president of the All Assam Water Resource Contractors' Association (AAWRCA), Muhi Borgohain, came out with such an allegation today. He said: "During the  last monsoons embankments measuring a length of 26 km were breached, while the condition of 45 km of embankments was pathetic. For the repair of the breaches the Water Resource Department sent proposals of 190 schemes worth Rs 550 crore to the Revenue Department. The latter, however, did not approve the proposals, and as such the works could not be progressed. The monsoons is round the corner now."

"During the 11th Five-Year Plan, Rs 275 crore was allocated for flood magement projects  (EMP). This apart, there was Rs 85 crore from BARD for the purpose, and Rs 50 crore was owed by the Disaster Magement Department. All these funds totaling Rs 410 crore was not released by the State Government. This is the reason why the contractors don't get money even after completion of works," Borgohain said.

"In February last, the Centre sanctioned Rs 1,300 crore for 41 schemes under the Water Resources Department on the condition that the funds would be released only after the submission of the utilization certificates of its matching share by the Dispur. The works were supposed to be completed by March 2015, but there's no progress so far. How can the schemes be done by March now. If the government releases the funds now and if the contractors start the work in March they will have to take the blame of starting such works on the eve of monsoons," Borgogain said, and added: "It's certain that Dispur has to wash its hands of the funds ."

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