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Plea to integrate Zoo Road Water Supply Scheme with JICA-funded project

By Staff Reporter
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GUWAHATI, March 29 - About 101 employees of the Zoo Road Water Supply Scheme (ZRWSS) of the Guwahati Metropolitan Drinking Water and Sewerage Board have complained that their fate now hangs in the balance due to the contradictory decisions of the authorities concerned.

These employees were earlier transferred from the Assam Urban Water Supply & Sewerage Board (AUWS & SB). They have now made an appeal to the State Government to review the latest decision of the Government to send them back to the AUWS&SB.

In a representation to the Chairman of the Guwahati Metropolitan Drinking Water and Sewerage Board as well as the Guwahati Development Department (GDD) Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, these employees have also pleaded for integrating the Zoo Road Water Supply Scheme (ZRWSS) with the JICA-funded main water supply scheme of the city and to treat it as a pilot project till that integration is done.

The ZRWSS capacity should also be increased to cover the area under its command till the JICA-funded project comes under operation. This will generate more revenue and compensate the cost, said these employees.

It needs mention here that the above employees of the ZRWSS were �transferred on deputation to Guwahati Jal Board,� stated a February 10, 2015 agreement signed by the Managing Director of Guwahati Jal Board and the Managing Director of the AUWS&SB.

But the August 26, 2016 Board meeting of the Jal Board expressed the view that taking over the assets and employees of the existing agencies would be counter-productive and could result in a serious challenge to the Board, which has proposed to apply the most modern and complex systems in running its projects.

The Board, therefore, felt that it is appropriate that all the existing agencies may be allowed to continue even after the Board starts operating. After two to three years, the matter can be reviewed further, said the Board in its August 26, 2016 meeting.

The ZRWSS employees, now 101 in total, hence made a representation to the Managing Director (MD), Guwahati Jal Board on December 9, 2016 with a plea that the above decision should be reviewed. Getting no positive response from the Jal Board MD, the employees then moved the Gauhati High Court and the High Court directed the Jal Board MD to look into the grievance of these employees and answer the same by issuing a speaking order.

The Jal Board MD said in his order on March 15, 2017, among others, that the Board is not required to take the assets or the manpower of any of the existing water supply schemes, since the Board will be completely professional and modern agency to take care of the drinking water and sewerage system.

However, those staff/employees of the ZRWSS, who fulfil the criteria of the modern organogram, can join the organisation at an appropriate point of time. The matter now rests with the decision of the administrative departments of both the Boards, that is � GDD and Urban Development Department of the State Government, said the Jal Board MD.

He also said that the representation made by the above employees on December 9, 2016, would be placed before the Board in its next Board meeting for its consideration.

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Plea to integrate Zoo Road Water Supply Scheme with JICA-funded project

GUWAHATI, March 29 - About 101 employees of the Zoo Road Water Supply Scheme (ZRWSS) of the Guwahati Metropolitan Drinking Water and Sewerage Board have complained that their fate now hangs in the balance due to the contradictory decisions of the authorities concerned.

These employees were earlier transferred from the Assam Urban Water Supply & Sewerage Board (AUWS & SB). They have now made an appeal to the State Government to review the latest decision of the Government to send them back to the AUWS&SB.

In a representation to the Chairman of the Guwahati Metropolitan Drinking Water and Sewerage Board as well as the Guwahati Development Department (GDD) Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, these employees have also pleaded for integrating the Zoo Road Water Supply Scheme (ZRWSS) with the JICA-funded main water supply scheme of the city and to treat it as a pilot project till that integration is done.

The ZRWSS capacity should also be increased to cover the area under its command till the JICA-funded project comes under operation. This will generate more revenue and compensate the cost, said these employees.

It needs mention here that the above employees of the ZRWSS were �transferred on deputation to Guwahati Jal Board,� stated a February 10, 2015 agreement signed by the Managing Director of Guwahati Jal Board and the Managing Director of the AUWS&SB.

But the August 26, 2016 Board meeting of the Jal Board expressed the view that taking over the assets and employees of the existing agencies would be counter-productive and could result in a serious challenge to the Board, which has proposed to apply the most modern and complex systems in running its projects.

The Board, therefore, felt that it is appropriate that all the existing agencies may be allowed to continue even after the Board starts operating. After two to three years, the matter can be reviewed further, said the Board in its August 26, 2016 meeting.

The ZRWSS employees, now 101 in total, hence made a representation to the Managing Director (MD), Guwahati Jal Board on December 9, 2016 with a plea that the above decision should be reviewed. Getting no positive response from the Jal Board MD, the employees then moved the Gauhati High Court and the High Court directed the Jal Board MD to look into the grievance of these employees and answer the same by issuing a speaking order.

The Jal Board MD said in his order on March 15, 2017, among others, that the Board is not required to take the assets or the manpower of any of the existing water supply schemes, since the Board will be completely professional and modern agency to take care of the drinking water and sewerage system.

However, those staff/employees of the ZRWSS, who fulfil the criteria of the modern organogram, can join the organisation at an appropriate point of time. The matter now rests with the decision of the administrative departments of both the Boards, that is � GDD and Urban Development Department of the State Government, said the Jal Board MD.

He also said that the representation made by the above employees on December 9, 2016, would be placed before the Board in its next Board meeting for its consideration.