NEW DELHI, Sept 20 � The Assam gas cracker project may fail to meet its deadline but the Centre is committed to expediting the project work, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister TKA Nair has said.
Nair has been mandated by the Prime Minister to monitor the implementation of the Rs 5,460-crore project. The Principal Secretary reviews the work on the project every three months with top officials of all the stakeholders including the Central ministries involved.
Talking to this newspaper, Nair said that Centre is eager to expedite the project and availability of funds is not an issue. �Funds are there,� he said, acknowledging that the project has slipped slightly.
At the ministerial level, the execution of the project is monitored by Union Minister for DoNER and Mines Bijoy Krishna Handique, who has been involved with the project since its inception.
Chairman of Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymer Limited (BCPL) BC Tripathi has been quoted by the media as having said that the project is running almost six months behind its schedule that might lead to15-20 per cent cost escalation. The escalating cost of gas is another factor that might hit the project.
Acute shortage of skilled manpower and heavy rainy season have been identified as the major causes for the delay by the chairman, who added that all efforts were on to catch up with the original schedule of April 2012.
According to Tripathi, manpower shortage was the �biggest challenge� before the company. �We are really facing an acute shortage of skilled manpower,� said Tripathi.