GUWAHATI: The construction of the Pormaighuli Health Centre in the Tezpur LAC (Legislative Assembly Constituency) was over in 2013. However, the health centre has been lying idle to date.
Construction of the ITI (Industrial Training Institute) at Chotogirai village in the Blasipara subdivision was also over in 2013. This institution has also since been lying idle.
Assam is replete with many such buildings and other structures constructed at the cost of public money lying idle for years without benefiting the target beneficiaries. Who is responsible for this?
According to official sources, the government makes funds available for building construction without planning any budget for staff. The allegation is that a section of officials is very keen on constructing such buildings without planning for the subsequent expenditure.
The ITI in Bilasipara was constructed with funds under the MsDP (Multi-sectorial Development Programme of the Government of India. However, the onus of recruitment of teaching and non-teaching staff and their salary lies with the State Government. The State Government has not created the posts of teaching staff, let alone their appointment. Thus the ITI building has been lying idle for nine years without benefiting the target students.
The Public Health Centre at Pormaighuli has also been lying idle with no doctor and nurse appointed.
Such buildings of Agriculture, Irrigation and PHE departments have also been lying idle in the state long after their completion. Several half-constructed PWD bridges have been lying in the state for years. The bridge over the Kopili River near Kachugaon in the Raha LAC is an example. Its construction started about 17 years ago. The work of the multi-storey market building at Beltola in Guwahati began during the Tarun Gogoi regime. The building is yet to see the light of the day.
Sources say that the departments concerned should prepare holistic estimates of office buildings or any other infrastructure, including their subsequent cost for men and machines. And the government should approve only such holistic estimates not to make infrastructures lie idle after construction. When a person damages public property, the government makes the person concerned pay the cost. If the public property gets damaged for lying idle for years due to officials' fault, will the government hold the officials responsible for that?