Centre stops projects under JJM in M’laya

SHILLONG, Jan 10: Not all is well with the implementation of the Jal Jeevan Mission in Meghalaya as the scheme, which aims to provide household tap connections, is already marred by controversies, alleged irregularities and poor implementation of the scheme. As such the central government has stopped the implementation of projects worth Rs 3,000 crore under JJM in the state.
The alleged poor implementation of the scheme has been highlighted in the media from time to time, which even caught the attention of the pressure groups who have been demanding a probe into the matter.
It was informed that the Ministry of Jal Shakti had last month sought a clarification from the Meghalaya government over the allegations of irregularities. The state government, however, is yet to respond to the notice of the central government.
It is learnt that the Centre is not at all impressed with the implementation of the scheme in Meghalaya as these procedural irregularities have reportedly been occurring in the state since the past 2-3 years, which were only detected recently.
Taking note of the alleged irregularities, the central government finally decided to stop the implementation of projects, which are worth Rs 3,000 crore, for Meghalaya after being informed that these projects are being poorly planned and implemented in the state.
It was informed that if the allegations are found to be correct, the central government may revisit the entire scheme implementation for the last two years.
The Centre has noted that the same work in other states with the same topography and population is being implemented at a cheaper cost, while referring to states like Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.
One of the common violations of project guidelines which is being seen in Meghalaya is that the pipelines for the schemes are being laid on the road, whereas the advisory for the schemes says that pipelines should be laid 2.5 feet under the ground.
Amid these allegations, PHE Minister Renikton Lyngdoh Tongkhar had recently stated that procurement of pipes had been a major challenge, even as he added it remained solved to a larger degree.

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