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Inter-department feud hits Govt Press Road hard

By PJ Baruah
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GUWAHATI, Nov 25 - The residents of the Government Press Road at Bamunimaidam, where the State�s premier security press under the Directorate of Printing and Stationery and the historic Gopal Krishna Than are located, is today suffering the consequences of the inter-department feud between the offices of the PWD (Roads), Guwahati City Division No. III and office of the Project Director, JICA Assisted Guwahati Water Supply Project.

The residents were happy to see the PWD (Roads) taking up the improvement of the road under Guwahati Development Department (Flood Mitigation Scheme) for the year 2017-18. A stormwater drain was constructed on a war footing. However, during construction of the drain, the underground water supply pipelines laid by the JICA were taken out. The water pipes, some of which have been damaged, are now being kept in the Government Press premises.

The Executive Engineer, PWD (Roads), Guwahati City Division No. III, in a letter to the Project Director, JICA, on 16th May, 2019, informed that they were now ready for road works like laying of WBM, ICBP etc., and hence, requested the JICA authorities to reconnect the water supply pipelines before construction of the road. Finding no response, the Executive Engineer, PWD, again reminded the JICA authorities vide letter dated July 11, 2019 to reconnect the water pipeline as the local people were pressing for an early solution of the matter.

Finally, on August 26, 2019, Paul Barua, Project Director, JICA, informed the Chief Engineer, PWD(R), Chandmari, Guwahati-3, that relaying of the pipelines removed by the PWD during construction of stormwater drains and widening of the Government Press Road would involve an amount of Rs 6,59,986. Project Director Barua of JICA requested the PWD to deduct the amount from the invoice of the concerned contractor of the PWD and transfer the same to the office of JICA for further action. He also informed that relaying of the water pipes can be started only after receiving the reimbursement of the said amount for relaying the pipes.

The Chief Engineer, PWD (Roads), has so far not taken any action on the JICA proposal. The PWD should have contacted JICA to relay the water pipes on a new alignment during the drain construction work itself. This could have minimised the cost. The contractor removed the pipes on his own, thereby damaging most of the pipes. The supervising PWD engineer must have been aware of the problem and should have contacted his superiors for advice. If the local people had not intervened, the PWD contractor would have constructed the road and left with his bill. The PWD must penalise the contractor or engineer, whoever is at fault, and get the work done.

Meanwhile, the people using this arterial road connecting Barnachal, Milanpur and Jyotinagar (West) are suffering as its condition is deteriorating day by day. The residents have approached Guwahati Development Department Minister Siddhartha Bhattacharyya, Chief Engineer (Roads) among others, but so far they have received no relief as the impasse has not been resolved.

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Inter-department feud hits Govt Press Road hard

GUWAHATI, Nov 25 - The residents of the Government Press Road at Bamunimaidam, where the State�s premier security press under the Directorate of Printing and Stationery and the historic Gopal Krishna Than are located, is today suffering the consequences of the inter-department feud between the offices of the PWD (Roads), Guwahati City Division No. III and office of the Project Director, JICA Assisted Guwahati Water Supply Project.

The residents were happy to see the PWD (Roads) taking up the improvement of the road under Guwahati Development Department (Flood Mitigation Scheme) for the year 2017-18. A stormwater drain was constructed on a war footing. However, during construction of the drain, the underground water supply pipelines laid by the JICA were taken out. The water pipes, some of which have been damaged, are now being kept in the Government Press premises.

The Executive Engineer, PWD (Roads), Guwahati City Division No. III, in a letter to the Project Director, JICA, on 16th May, 2019, informed that they were now ready for road works like laying of WBM, ICBP etc., and hence, requested the JICA authorities to reconnect the water supply pipelines before construction of the road. Finding no response, the Executive Engineer, PWD, again reminded the JICA authorities vide letter dated July 11, 2019 to reconnect the water pipeline as the local people were pressing for an early solution of the matter.

Finally, on August 26, 2019, Paul Barua, Project Director, JICA, informed the Chief Engineer, PWD(R), Chandmari, Guwahati-3, that relaying of the pipelines removed by the PWD during construction of stormwater drains and widening of the Government Press Road would involve an amount of Rs 6,59,986. Project Director Barua of JICA requested the PWD to deduct the amount from the invoice of the concerned contractor of the PWD and transfer the same to the office of JICA for further action. He also informed that relaying of the water pipes can be started only after receiving the reimbursement of the said amount for relaying the pipes.

The Chief Engineer, PWD (Roads), has so far not taken any action on the JICA proposal. The PWD should have contacted JICA to relay the water pipes on a new alignment during the drain construction work itself. This could have minimised the cost. The contractor removed the pipes on his own, thereby damaging most of the pipes. The supervising PWD engineer must have been aware of the problem and should have contacted his superiors for advice. If the local people had not intervened, the PWD contractor would have constructed the road and left with his bill. The PWD must penalise the contractor or engineer, whoever is at fault, and get the work done.

Meanwhile, the people using this arterial road connecting Barnachal, Milanpur and Jyotinagar (West) are suffering as its condition is deteriorating day by day. The residents have approached Guwahati Development Department Minister Siddhartha Bhattacharyya, Chief Engineer (Roads) among others, but so far they have received no relief as the impasse has not been resolved.

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