GUWAHATI, Sept 2 � Funds for the financial year 2012-2013 were not released to the Guwahati Jal Board by the State Finance Department. This came to light with the information provided by the Guwahati Development Department (GDD) to the queries made by RTI activist Rohit Choudhury through an RTI application. The information was available with the minutes of the third meeting of the Guwahati Metropolitan Drinking Water and Sewerage Board (Jal Board) held on May 21, 2013.
The RTI reply was provided on March21, 2014.
Minutes of the 3rd meeting held on May 21, 2013 highlights that funds for the year 2012-2013 were not released by the Finance Department for the Guwahati Jal Board (GJB).
The meeting observed that since no funds were released for the Guwahati Jal Board during 2012-2013, the recruitment were kept in abeyance. It was informed that the Board approved a budget of Rs 231.98 lakh for 2012-2013, against which a sanction for Rs 100 lakh was received from the Government. But unfortunately no ceiling was issued by the Finance Department. To this, Principal .Secretary,GDD informed that in number of such cases, in spite of having issued the sanction, the funds were not released by the Finance Department.
Of the three water supply projects undertaken under the Jal Board, the one sponsored by the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewable Mission (JNNURM) for South Guwahati West area was entrusted to M/s Gammon India Limited for a value of Rs 350 crore. Moreover, the Board was further informed that progress of work in the project has slowed down as the balance sanctioned amount of Rs 66 crore (Rs 350 crore � Rs 284 crore) was not released by the Government during 2012-13.
Besides, an additional requirement of funds amounting to Rs 82.13 crore, necessary for compatibility of this project with other two projects funded by JICA and ADB respectively, was also not sanctioned by the Government although the requirement with detailed break-up and justification was proposed in August�2012.
It needs mention here that initially, September 2011 was fixed as the deadline for completion of the JNNURM project. But later on, this deadline was extended to December 2013. Works to execute the project commenced in April 2009. Even though GJB was notified on December 21, 2011, only its Managing Director was appointed and it was followed by the appointment of its Secretary with additional charges till then.