Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Only delays, no anomaly: Govt on JJM allegations


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SHILLONG, Jan 14: The state government has clarified that there are no anomalies in the implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) but accepted that there were delays in certain sectors due to various local reasons which has been sorted and now the work is on in full swing.
“Regarding that complaint, the work is going on in full swing. There are no anomalies,” said PHE Minister Marcuise Marak while referring to the complaints of Sofior Rahman, a former GHADC MDC, which he claimed were instances when the JJM was used as a vehicle for corruption.
Stating that work was delayed in certain sections as some people disallowed it, he said, “Some tanks needed to be constructed and the land owners did not allow them to work at that point of time. Later on, the contractor negotiated and work continued. In other portions, some organisations had raised issues and even did not allow the pipes from being laid”.
“Practically, they wanted our work and some work was given to some of the parties and they allowed. These are small issues that had cropped up, and because of which the work got delayed,” he reasoned.
According to the minister, the pending work or the work in progress is also often misunderstood as not proper implementation but nonetheless, the work is on in full swing and will be completed on time.
“The work is going on in full swing and it will be completed. Without disturbances, if they give the time, then the work will be completed by March, hopefully,” he said.
Pointed out that Rahman had asked him to get to the ground and inspect the implementation rather than just rubbishing away the various allegations, he said, “I can do that. No issues. I have asked my officers and additional chief engineer to go to the ground and find out”.
“There is also continuous monitoring being done by the implementing officers and junior engineers plus other engineers at every level,” he said, further adding, “Don’t worry. Everything is in line and we also want everything to be done in a proper manner”.
According to him, a few years ago, Meghalaya had merely 4,550 functional tap connections, accounting for coverage of only 0.70%. As of January 2024, 4.7 lakh households in Meghalaya have been provided with functional tap connections, accounting for a coverage of 73.2% which is above the national average and close to 1,000 villages in the state have been certified as ‘Har Ghar Jal’ villages despite the challenges.
According to reports, Rahman had earlier alleged that in the Nekikona area, not a single functional house tap connection was provided in any of the 26 villages and neither was the main pipeline connected to these villages.
Similarly, Rahman said that the Balbigre Water Supply Scheme is another bogus one. Here more than Rs 33 crore out of a sanctioned Rs 38.90 crore project has been paid to the contractor but no functional house tap connections were provided even though the official documentation claims that 1,499 out of 2,544 have been provided with one.
Seventeen villages are yet to be connected to the main pipeline, he added.
For the Sakmal Combined Water Supply Scheme, the contractor has drawn Rs 15.40 crore out of a sanctioned Rs 20.94 crore but, again, no house tap connections have been provided nor the pipeline connected to the target villages, Rahman claimed, despite the Public Health Engineering Department claiming that 1,055 had been in eight villages.


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