JORHAT, Jan 21 - Slamming the Jorhat Municipal Board (JMB) over its failure to complete the much-hyped multi-storied car parking complex at the old public bus stand beside the AT Road here during the past six years, the AASU has demanded a high-level inquiry by the State Government to probe alleged financial anomalies in the project and also to find out causes that has led to a state of limbo of the project.
Addressing newspersons at the Jorhat Press Club on Monday, AASU state organising secretary Jul Khound came down heavily on the present JMB run by the BJP since April 2015 for “turning a blind eye” to the ambitious project which was aimed to ease traffic congestion.
Khound, citing documents acquired through RTI queries, said the project which was launched during the tenure of the previous Congress-led JMB with then Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi laying the foundation stone on October 1, 2013, has become a white elephant as the JMB (during both the Congress and BJP-led tenures) paid about Rs 6.5 crore to the contractor out of the total Rs 10.51 crores estimated cost.
Only the basic structure of the building has been constructed, which has now become a shelter for stray dogs and anti-social elements, the AASU leader alleged.
Slamming the Jorhat MLA from the ruling party, who is also the Speaker of the Assam Assembly, Hitendra Nath Goswami, for not giving attention to the much-needed project, Khound sought a White Paper on the status of the project which since past three years has seen no work.
He said the state government should have looked into the matter as government fund was used in the project and there was a department to look into the affairs of the civic bodies which gets substantial government funding.
He said that the JMB has failed to take legal action like blacklisting the contractor of the project for the delay. Khound further said the Government should initiate steps at the earliest to complete the multi-storied building meant for vehicle parking.
The AASU leader also pointed out that the JMB should take action against shops illegally running from areas meant for basement parking of vehicles.
He questioned how could shops opened in basement areas meant for vehicle parking get trade licences and if no trade licences were issued then how could such shops operate.
Bijoy Shankar Bordoloi, assistant general secretary of Jorhat district AASU, said if the state government and JMB did not pay heed to the student organization’s demands within this month-end then AASU will resort to the next course of action against the government and JMB.
It may be mentioned here that on the day of laying the foundation stone of the multi-storied parking building, 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.