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Guwahati water projects lack planning, coordination

A file photo
 GUWAHATI, Sept 30 - “There are smart schemes for uninterrupted water supply to every household of Guwahati. But unfortunately, the officials concerned with those schemes lack commitment towards their duty.” Satyabrata Sarma, retired engineer of the Public Health Engineering Department (PHE) disclosed while addressing a panel discussion titled ‘Guwahati Water Supply Project in Imbroglio – Remedial Measures’ at the Pragjyoti-ITA cultural complex here today.

The panel discussion was organized by the Senior Engineers Forum, Guwahati in collaboration with the Public Health Engineering Retired Engineers’ Forum.

Dwelling on the water supply schemes of Guwahati, Sarma said, “The officials concerned lack financial discipline. Allegations of anomalies have been against them. People should be careful while applying for a new water supply connection. On the other hand, most of the projects have outlived their utility.”

In the city, altogether four water supply projects – North Guwahati and South Central Guwahati (funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency), South Guwahati West (funded by the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission) and South East Guwahati (funded by the Asian Development Bank) have been undertaken.

Addressing the gathering, retired engineer Babul Chakravarty said that the main reason behind delay in completion of the city’s water supply projects is the lack of proper planning and coordination among the departments.

He pointed out that due to financial constraints, a company, working as a project management consultant for a water supply project, left the State. On the other hand, recently one contractor has become bankrupt. The situation is becoming complex and the need of the hour is to formulate some solutions.

Social worker Ajay Dutta, who was also a panelist, said that in the name of execution of water supply projects, the authority concerned has dug up many roads across the city.

“We thought that water shortage will be over. But even after so many years, none of those projects were completed. So it is time to come together to formulate solutions to tackle the problem,” he added.

Senior advocate KK Phukan alleged that the city’s water supply projects have been delayed because the Government failed to appoint the right person in the right position and that the existing officials lacked accountability and commitment towards their duty.

Retired engineer KG Deb Krori, who explained the purpose of the panel discussion, stated that to become a smart city, adequate water supply is the number one criterion.

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