GUWAHATI, July 14 - Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today urged contractors and contracting firms to embolden the government�s hand in swift and quality implementation of infrastructure projects in the State.
Inaugurating Nirman 2017, the first ever conclave of contractors and engineers on infrastructure development in Assam which was held at the Assam Administrative Staff College, Khanapara here, Sonowal said contractors, engineers, public and the government are equal partners in development and expressed hope that the conclave would pave the way for faster implementation of infrastructure-related projects.
�The call of the hour is to work together as a team. I understand the difficulties faced by contractors. But all of you must value the responsibility entrusted upon you and dedicate yourself to the cause of making Assam a developed State,� Sonowal said.
Advocating better coordination and frequent interaction between the contractors and engineers, the Chief Minister suggested maintenance of complete transparency in execution of all government works. �Talk to the local people, inform them about the project and the fund outlay and seek their support for successful completion of the same,� Sonowal added. Asserting that Assam would witness large-scale infrastructure development projects in the days to come, Sonowal favoured skill augmentation of local contractors and contacting firms apart from innovation and introduction of new technology, better human resource management practices.
The Chief Minister also referred to the Bharatmala project under which the Government of India would take up projects worth more than Rs 15 lakh crore throughout the country and hoped that state contractors would also compete in the bidding and exhibit their engineering skill and acumen in implementing those projects.
�Our Prime Minister defines the North East as the new engine for new India. Our contractors are valuable partners in helping this goal to materialise. Our Act East Policy will open new market opportunities for Assam in the ASEAN members. If we have to capture that market, we�ll have to grow accordingly,� Sonowal said.
Earlier, delivering the welcome address, PWD Minister Parimal Suklabaidya said Nirman 2017 is an endeavour of the Government of Assam to partner with contractors and contracting firms for exchanging ideas, sharing experiences and finding solution to all critical issues for creating a better working environment and making Assam one of the most developed states in the country. The conclave would try to understand the problems faced by contractors and work to assuage them to create a new environment in the construction sector in Assam, Suklabaidya said. The Minister further informed that the experience to be gained from the two-day conclave would be shared with the Chief Minister and interventions would be made accordingly.
Additional Chief Secretary, Works Department of Government of Assam Alok Kumar, while highlighting the deterrents that affect faster implementation of infrastructure projects, said that quicker adoption of best practices, enhancing collaboration and coordination between stakeholding departments, mitigating seasonal shortage of construction materials and maintenance of assets are some of the major issues which would be taken up for discussion during the conclave.
Representing the contractors and contracting firms, Utpal Medhi highlighted some of the issues hampering their overall performance. He placed certain suggestions before the government for creating a bettering working relationship. Government departments like PWD, irrigation, water resources, PHE, Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd, Guwahati Municipal Corporation, Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority, contractors� associations, financial institutions and machinery companies are taking part in the two-day conclave.