GUWAHATI, March 12 � Every year, tall promises are made in the State�s Budget, but the question is how many of those promises are actually fulfilled on the ground? A look through the last three Budgets presented by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who also holds the Finance Portfolio, showed that a number of those announcements remained on paper only, while several were repeated.
In his Budget speech for the year 2013-14, Gogoi announced construction of a six-lane bridge over river Brahmaputra connecting Narengi and Kuruwa with road link to Dumni Chowki at a cost of Rs 1,600 crore. The Budget for the current financial year remained silent on the issue, but in his Budget for the next financial year, Gogoi also made the same announcement without mentioning what happened to the money earmarked for the project two years back. In his Budget speech, Gogoi said on March 10, �The government would initiate steps to construct a six-lane bridge between Narengi and Kuruwa with a road link to Dumni Chowki and the feasibility study would be completed soon.� However, he did not mention any deadline for construction of the bridge.
For years, Gogoi has been mentioning about beautification of the Brahmaputra river front, but no concrete step has been taken so far. In the Budget for 2013-14, the Chief Minister announced a scheme for beautification of the river front, but hardly anything was done in the last couple of years. In the Budget for the next financial year, Gogoi made the same promise, of course with a little more detail as he said that the project will revitalise the Brahmaputra river front from Nilachal Hill to the Governor�s house. However, he did not mention how much money was earmarked for the project or as to when the same would be completed.
Similarly, in the Budget for 2013-14, the Chief Minister had announced a metro rail project for Guwahati at an estimated cost of Rs 1,800 crore. The next year�s Budget was silent on the issue and the same announcement came up again in the Budget for the coming year as he said that a feasibility study of a rail-based MRTS for the Guwahati Metropolitan area is under way. He did not mention whether the money earmarked two years back was spent only on the feasibility study or as to when the implementation of the project would actually start and what would be the project cost.
Gogoi has for years been promising preservation of the water bodies of Guwahati city, along with improvement of the drainage channels. In the Budget for 2013-14, the Chief Minister promised a sewerage project for Guwahati city at a cost of Rs 1,400 crore and no one knows what happened to the same. He also announced projects for reclamation of the Silshako Beel and other water bodies in Guwahati. Moreover, he announced restoration of the Bharalu river and protection and preservation of Deepar Beel. Next year, too, he announced schemes for conservation of the water bodies of the city and in his Budget speech on March 10, he again announced a scheme for dredging and cleaning of the natural wetland channels. The government had initiated steps for increasing the water carrying capacity of the Bharalu river and some eviction drives were launched for reclamation of the water bodies, only after the city faced severe artificial floods last year.