Guwahati, Thursday, September 3, 2020
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Premature end of irrigation project under Dispur LAC?
PRAMESHWAR PURI

The irrigation project that is yet to see the light of day.
 JORABAT, Sept 2 - The villagers of Sonaigaon under Dispur constituency have alleged a big scam in the yet-to-be inaugurated project of the Lungsorjuri Flow Irrigation Scheme in Sonaigaon village under Sonapur revenue circle.

 Far from being commissioned, the project now lies in a nearly abandoned state, with the installed machinery gathering rust and large parts of the project area covered in wild bushes.

The Union Ministry of Water Resources under the Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP), 2013-14, had sanctioned Rs 5 crore for the project. The contract was awarded to Sajid Rahman’s Luhit Enterprise which commenced the construction work in 2016, informed an official in the Guwahati Division of the Irrigation Department. The project was officially slated to be inaugurated in 2017.

According to Ratul Goswami, technical consultant in the department’s Guwahati Division, the project is almost complete and about 80 per cent of the total amount has already been withdrawn by the contractor.

However, locals allege that even before the project could be commissioned, the machinery has become defunct as the said contractor had allegedly compromised on its quality. The villagers also accused the department of indulging in other irregularities in order to favour the contractor. They also argued that the Rs 5 crore sanctioned for the project was far above the actual cost.

Alleging a scam, local resident Dharmendra Keleng informed that the present MLA Atul Bora upon receiving complaints regarding the project, also visited the project site.

“Though our MLA assured us of initiating an unbiased inquiry into the matter, nothing of that sort has been initiated. We have gained nothing from this Rs 5 crore project,” Keleng added.

However, irrigation official Goswami claimed that the villagers had benefited from the project in 2018, after which it became non-functional. He further said that the project is awaiting some funds for its inauguration and to start functioning. However, he refused to give a date for possible inauguration of the project.

Meanwhile, the irked villagers have demanded an inquiry into the alleged scam and also urged the government to ensure early commissioning of the project.

Meanwhile, AASU’s Kamrup Metro unit general secretary Dibyajyoti Medhi alleged that not only the Sonaigaon project, many other similar irrigation projects have been lying defunct in Dimoria.

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