Meghalaya: Despite spending Rs. 8.7 crores, irrigation project still runs dry in West Garo Hills

Meghalaya: Despite spending Rs. 8.7 crores, irrigation project still runs dry in West Garo Hills

Tura, Nov 28,2017: Continuing the trend of projects made by the water resource department that only act as showpieces, another minor irrigation project (MIP) done under West Garo Hills has come an absolute cropper with not a single drop of water going into the irrigation channels despite of 8.7 crores of public being wasted.

The project has now come under scanner after the Achik Youth Council (AYC) wrote a complaint to the chief minister through the deputy commissioner of WGH seeking a high level inquiry into the criminal waste of money.

“What is the point of an irrigation project if it does not do its basic job of providing water during the dry months? The entire structure itself is faulty as it will take a miracle for water to reach the outlet due to the barrage being lower than it. One wonders as what kind of engineering marvel they wanted to create,” said assistant general secretary of AYC, Maxbirth G Momin.

The assertion was made as per RTI documents obtained by the NGO and a visit to the site of the MIP.

“As per the RTI the Ringdee MIP was sanctioned in the year 1999-2000 at an estimated cost of Rs 2, 72, 05, 000. Consequently, in the year 2009-10 again the department has sanction Rs 5, 95, 63, 00 crores for that very same project as a revised estimate. The scheme was sanctioned under AIBP from the centre,” said Maxbirth.

The initial part of the project was given to Binoy Ghosh and the revised estimate went to one Kalpana A Sangma.  The project is presumed to cover 131 families from the villages of Okkapara Songma, Mellim, Alabagiri, Anteka, Chengkurigiri and Santariri of a total command area of 500 hectors of agricultural land.

“The main objectives of the Ringdee MIP project is to provide irrigation facilities and to provide maximum yield by doing double cropping as the people of that area are basically dependant on rainfall for cultivation,” added the AYC member.

The total of the project till date has come to Rs 8, 67, 68, 00 crores with another 4 more crores allegedly on the way of being sanctioned to rectify the project.

“It is not possible to operate the said irrigation dam since the project is not made as per the DPR/ plan estimate. An interesting fact is that, the dam is not even qualified to provide a drop of water. None of the beneficiaries have seen a drop of water from the dam come into their fields as it would require a miracle for it to do so,” said Maxbirth.

The NGO member opined that the scheme meant for the welfare of the farmers has been converted into a profit making business by people with vested interests.

Another part of the project, namely protection and anti- erosion measures of agricultural land under Ringdee – Okabra, sanctioned for an amount of Rs 34, 30, 700 lakhs also came under the hammer as the NGO found out that the same was a ghost project and had not even been undertaken.

“There is no such project/scheme implemented in that area and the funds meant for the farmers/public have been siphoned off by the contractors and the officers of the concerned department,” alleged Maxbirth.

The NGO has sought an inquiry into the matter through the office of the CM asking for the people guilty of siphoning funds need to be taken to task. The NGO has further demanded that the inquiry be completed in 3 weeks.

TNT News


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