SHILLONG | May 14, 2019:
Opposition Chief Whip, Process T Sawkmie today visited the water reservoir at Mawphlang Dam to know the status of the much delayed Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme Phase III project.
Talking to reporters, Sawkmie said that he is aware that the project has hit several hurdles since it was conceptualised.
“The main objective of visiting the project site was to get a first hand information on the progress of the project. We all know that the completion of the project would ease the problem of water scarcity in the whole Shillong city,” he said.
Meanwhile, he said that the land owners at Lad Mawreng has given their consent for laying of the pipelines. “This is a positive development since the PHE department had been facing difficulty in laying down the pipes since the land owners were skeptical of providing land for the same. But finally they have given their consent,” he said.
According to Sawkmie, the major hurdle now is the refusal of the Defence authorities to provide permission for laying of the pipes near the Rhino Museum at Rilbong Point. “I have told the officers to submit me the details so that I can personally take up the matter with the defence authorities,” he said. The Opposition Chief Whip, however, expressed his satisfaction over the progress of the project.
Earlier, Public Health Engineering (PHE) Minister Samlin Malngiang informed that the much awaited Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme (GSWSS) Phase III is likely to be completed by March 2020. He also said the completion of the project would depend on the approval of the revised estimates by the Centre.
“The revised estimate which is proposed for the scheme is Rs 281.50 crore. We are waiting for the approval from the Centre,” PHE Minister had informed. the PHE Minister had informed that the total sanction of the scheme is 193.49 crore adding that the fund release so far is 175.37 crore.
“The total expenditure till date is 154.87 crore. The amount available at present is Rs 20.50 crore,” PHE Minister informed. Malngiang also informed that the total deduction by the Centre is Rs 17.41 crore.
It may be mentioned that the Centre had deduct the funds due to non-compliance with the various reforms required under the JNNURM projects.
The GSWSS Phase III was funded under the JNNURM projects which was later renamed as AMRUT by the BJP led NDA Government. One of the reforms suggested by the Centre is the holding of the municipal elections. The State Government could not conduct the municipal elections since there was opposition from the people.
Earlier, the project was first targeted to be completed on May 2011. However, despite setting different timelines for its completion, the department has yet again failed to meet its recent deadline fixed on March this year.