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State yet to receive Rs 1,138 cr from Centre

By AJIT PATOWARY
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GUWAHATI, Dec 28 - The State is yet to receive around Rs 1,138.80 crore from the Union government for implementation of the Flood Management Programme (FMP) schemes belonging to the Eleventh and Twelfth Five Year Plans. During the Eleventh Five Year Plan, the Union Ministry of Water Resources sanctioned 100 FMP schemes in the State and during the Twelfth Five Year Plan, the number of sanctioned schemes was 41.

Sources told this newspaper that of these FMP schemes, 103 have been completed by the State�s Water Resources Department (WRD) and 38 have remained incomplete due to paucity of funds resulting from the non-receipt of the assured amounts of money from the Union government.

The languishing schemes include the Rs 361-crore Ranganadi embankment strengthening scheme, the Rs 155-crore Brahmaputra embankment strengthening scheme at Dhakuakhana downstream of Matmora, the Rs 167-crore Brahmaputra embankment strengthening scheme between Biswanath and Tezpur, the Rs 105-crore Dikrong embankment strengthening scheme, the Rs 14-crore Mora Pagladiya embankment strengthening scheme, the Rs 25-crore Brahmaputra embankment scheme between Solmari and Jaleswar and the Rs 15-crore Brahmaputra embankment strengthening scheme between Fakirganj and Dhubri, among others, sources said.

Meanwhile, the All Assam Water Resources Contractors Association has moved the Gauhati High Court with a case against both the Union and Assam governments for non-payment of an amount of Rs 1,014.26 crore against 89 FMP schemes which are in various stages of execution.

Of these schemes, 48 belonged to the Eleventh Five Year Plan and 41 to the Twelfth Five Year Plan. Of the total amount of Rs 1,014.26 crore, Rs 238.16 crore is due to them since 2011, and the rest of the amount has remained unpaid since 2015.

The contractors body has complained that while the Union government is to release an amount of Rs 901.91 crore as central share, the State government is to release an amount of Rs 112.35 crore as its share against these schemes as per the guidelines of the MoWR.

The association has also pleaded with the high court not to allow the government to float new tenders against any scheme until the pending amount is cleared to the contractors.

Brahmaputra Board: In the meantime, the Brahmaputra Board is also languishing due to the apathy of the MoWR. It is feared that by 2019, the Board will become non-existent if this attitude of the MoWR towards it continues.

Disclosing this, sources said that most of the Board engineers were recruited during 1982-83 and only seven to ten of the Board engineers were recruited after 2000. The Board requires at least 60 engineers to function properly.

Sources said that of the Board engineers, around 50 per cent have already retired, while another 40 per cent of the engineers will retire in 2018. The rest 10 per cent will retire in 2019. After 2019, there would not be any senior engineer and only seven to ten engineers recruited after 2000 would be there in the Board.

Since the recruitment by the Board requires approval of the MoWR, the ministry is reluctant to approve any request for fresh appointment in the Board for the reasons best known to it. This has resulted in acute shortage of manpower in the Board in all levels like junior engineers, ministerial staff and even at the grade four level, sources said.

The Board this year received an annual grant of about Rs 102 crore for its functioning, including execution of its schemes in Majuli, against a demand of Rs 150 crore. Of this amount, it is to spend around Rs 60 crore on salaries to its officers and employees.

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State yet to receive Rs 1,138 cr from Centre

GUWAHATI, Dec 28 - The State is yet to receive around Rs 1,138.80 crore from the Union government for implementation of the Flood Management Programme (FMP) schemes belonging to the Eleventh and Twelfth Five Year Plans. During the Eleventh Five Year Plan, the Union Ministry of Water Resources sanctioned 100 FMP schemes in the State and during the Twelfth Five Year Plan, the number of sanctioned schemes was 41.

Sources told this newspaper that of these FMP schemes, 103 have been completed by the State�s Water Resources Department (WRD) and 38 have remained incomplete due to paucity of funds resulting from the non-receipt of the assured amounts of money from the Union government.

The languishing schemes include the Rs 361-crore Ranganadi embankment strengthening scheme, the Rs 155-crore Brahmaputra embankment strengthening scheme at Dhakuakhana downstream of Matmora, the Rs 167-crore Brahmaputra embankment strengthening scheme between Biswanath and Tezpur, the Rs 105-crore Dikrong embankment strengthening scheme, the Rs 14-crore Mora Pagladiya embankment strengthening scheme, the Rs 25-crore Brahmaputra embankment scheme between Solmari and Jaleswar and the Rs 15-crore Brahmaputra embankment strengthening scheme between Fakirganj and Dhubri, among others, sources said.

Meanwhile, the All Assam Water Resources Contractors Association has moved the Gauhati High Court with a case against both the Union and Assam governments for non-payment of an amount of Rs 1,014.26 crore against 89 FMP schemes which are in various stages of execution.

Of these schemes, 48 belonged to the Eleventh Five Year Plan and 41 to the Twelfth Five Year Plan. Of the total amount of Rs 1,014.26 crore, Rs 238.16 crore is due to them since 2011, and the rest of the amount has remained unpaid since 2015.

The contractors body has complained that while the Union government is to release an amount of Rs 901.91 crore as central share, the State government is to release an amount of Rs 112.35 crore as its share against these schemes as per the guidelines of the MoWR.

The association has also pleaded with the high court not to allow the government to float new tenders against any scheme until the pending amount is cleared to the contractors.

Brahmaputra Board: In the meantime, the Brahmaputra Board is also languishing due to the apathy of the MoWR. It is feared that by 2019, the Board will become non-existent if this attitude of the MoWR towards it continues.

Disclosing this, sources said that most of the Board engineers were recruited during 1982-83 and only seven to ten of the Board engineers were recruited after 2000. The Board requires at least 60 engineers to function properly.

Sources said that of the Board engineers, around 50 per cent have already retired, while another 40 per cent of the engineers will retire in 2018. The rest 10 per cent will retire in 2019. After 2019, there would not be any senior engineer and only seven to ten engineers recruited after 2000 would be there in the Board.

Since the recruitment by the Board requires approval of the MoWR, the ministry is reluctant to approve any request for fresh appointment in the Board for the reasons best known to it. This has resulted in acute shortage of manpower in the Board in all levels like junior engineers, ministerial staff and even at the grade four level, sources said.

The Board this year received an annual grant of about Rs 102 crore for its functioning, including execution of its schemes in Majuli, against a demand of Rs 150 crore. Of this amount, it is to spend around Rs 60 crore on salaries to its officers and employees.