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Multi-storied car parking project at Jorhat in a state of limbo!

By Staff Correspondent

JORHAT, July 1 - The widely popular notion that work progresses at a snail�s pace in the State seems to aptly fit the case of Jorhat Municipal Board�s ambitious multi-storied car parking project at the old public bus stand beside the AT Road here, in the heart of the city.

The Rs 10.51 crore Central Government-funded project, the foundation stone of which was laid by former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on October 1, 2013, has failed to take off as the construction work has remained suspended for over five years, reportedly due to the contractor who was awarded the project becoming �bankrupt�.

Only the basic structure of the building has been constructed, which has now become a shelter for stray dogs and anti-social elements.

It may be mentioned here that on the day of laying the foundation stone, then PWD and Urban Development Minister Ajanta Neog, at present Golaghat MLA, had said that the construction work was entrusted to Engineers� Guild and was expected to be complete within 20 months.

The project, funded under Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources and supposed to be the first of its kind in Upper Assam, was proposed to have a market on the ground floor and parking for over 150 cars in the first and second floors, besides a community hall on the third floor.

The JMB then was headed by the Congress party, with the State and Central governments too being led by the Congress, but the project failed to take off due to alleged lackadaisical attitude of those in power as they could not get the work done by the contractor.

In 2014, BJP stormed to power at the Centre, and in 2015 it wrested the JMB from the Congress and in 2016 captured Dispur, but the project which was an important one for Jorhat in view of rapid increase in traffic congestion due to sharp rise in the number of vehicles on the roads, has remained in a state of limbo.

A JMB official said that the Board so far has paid Rs 1.88 crore to the contractor against work done by him. The official said that the Board was considering initiating legal action against the contractor for failing to complete the project and legal opinion in this regard was sought from JMB�s lawyers.

It may be mentioned here that the JMB is functioning without a Chairman since the past six months, with the Vice-Chairman Paban Bordoloi officiating as the in-charge Chairman after the earlier Chairman Jayanta Borkakoty went on a month�s leave to prove his �innocence� regarding allegations of he (Borkakoty) having an illicit relationship with a woman, which was published in several vernacular newspapers.

On February 11 this year, a no-confidence motion against Borkakoty was adopted in a special general meeting of the Board in which nine BJP ward commissioners, with the support of seven Congress ward commissioners, passed the resolution.

The JMB, run by BJP since April 1, 2015, has been marred by frequent feuds among the saffron party ward commissioners leading to replacement in the post of Chairman in September 2017.

Then JMB chairperson Aruna Dutta had quit the post on August 3, 2017, after she reportedly faced opposition from a section of her own party ward commissioners.

The earlier JMB Vice Chairman Anup Ghosh Dastidar on November 24, 2017 resigned after citing personal reasons after which Paban Bordoloi became the Vice Chairman on January 2018.

According to JMB sources, Dastidar too faced opposition due to inner-party wranglings. The term of the present Board is scheduled to expire on April 1, 2020.

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Multi-storied car parking project at Jorhat in a state of limbo!

JORHAT, July 1 - The widely popular notion that work progresses at a snail�s pace in the State seems to aptly fit the case of Jorhat Municipal Board�s ambitious multi-storied car parking project at the old public bus stand beside the AT Road here, in the heart of the city.

The Rs 10.51 crore Central Government-funded project, the foundation stone of which was laid by former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on October 1, 2013, has failed to take off as the construction work has remained suspended for over five years, reportedly due to the contractor who was awarded the project becoming �bankrupt�.

Only the basic structure of the building has been constructed, which has now become a shelter for stray dogs and anti-social elements.

It may be mentioned here that on the day of laying the foundation stone, then PWD and Urban Development Minister Ajanta Neog, at present Golaghat MLA, had said that the construction work was entrusted to Engineers� Guild and was expected to be complete within 20 months.

The project, funded under Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources and supposed to be the first of its kind in Upper Assam, was proposed to have a market on the ground floor and parking for over 150 cars in the first and second floors, besides a community hall on the third floor.

The JMB then was headed by the Congress party, with the State and Central governments too being led by the Congress, but the project failed to take off due to alleged lackadaisical attitude of those in power as they could not get the work done by the contractor.

In 2014, BJP stormed to power at the Centre, and in 2015 it wrested the JMB from the Congress and in 2016 captured Dispur, but the project which was an important one for Jorhat in view of rapid increase in traffic congestion due to sharp rise in the number of vehicles on the roads, has remained in a state of limbo.

A JMB official said that the Board so far has paid Rs 1.88 crore to the contractor against work done by him. The official said that the Board was considering initiating legal action against the contractor for failing to complete the project and legal opinion in this regard was sought from JMB�s lawyers.

It may be mentioned here that the JMB is functioning without a Chairman since the past six months, with the Vice-Chairman Paban Bordoloi officiating as the in-charge Chairman after the earlier Chairman Jayanta Borkakoty went on a month�s leave to prove his �innocence� regarding allegations of he (Borkakoty) having an illicit relationship with a woman, which was published in several vernacular newspapers.

On February 11 this year, a no-confidence motion against Borkakoty was adopted in a special general meeting of the Board in which nine BJP ward commissioners, with the support of seven Congress ward commissioners, passed the resolution.

The JMB, run by BJP since April 1, 2015, has been marred by frequent feuds among the saffron party ward commissioners leading to replacement in the post of Chairman in September 2017.

Then JMB chairperson Aruna Dutta had quit the post on August 3, 2017, after she reportedly faced opposition from a section of her own party ward commissioners.

The earlier JMB Vice Chairman Anup Ghosh Dastidar on November 24, 2017 resigned after citing personal reasons after which Paban Bordoloi became the Vice Chairman on January 2018.

According to JMB sources, Dastidar too faced opposition due to inner-party wranglings. The term of the present Board is scheduled to expire on April 1, 2020.

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