Construction works of two Eklavya schools in Meghalaya have started: Lahkmen Rymbui
He said that the selected authorities to execute the construction works in Meghalaya include -- two projects for the Engineering cell of the Education Department, 13 for the Water and Power Consultancy Services Limited (WAPCOS) and, 25 projects for Manipur Industrial Development Corporation Limited (MIDC).
Reacting to a starred question raised by Congress MLA HM Shangpliang, Rymbui said that the construction works at Samanda in East Garo Hills and Pahamsyiem in Ri Bhoi district have started. "The remaining schools, the DPR (Detailed Project Report) and site selection work is going on," he added.
Shangpliang raised a supplementary question on how the government is proposing to go ahead with the construction work EMRS with WAPCOS and MIDC while depriving the chances for local contractors.
"I felt that rather than giving this work to outside, it should have been done within the State; it should have been given to the PWD buildings or MGCC (Meghalaya Government Construction Corporation). Now we see companies from outside like WAPCOS being given thirteen projects and MIDC 25 projects," Shangpliang stated.
Replying to the question, the Education Minister mentioned that the project was sanctioned by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, who entrusted the National Education Society (NES) for the tribal students to implement this project.
"NES had floated EOI (Expression of Interest) for agencies to implement this project. In fact, the State Education Department and Planning Department had written to MECL (Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited), MGCC, Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation, and PWD (Public Works Department) building to participate in this EOI. But since that period was amid a pandemic hence, they could not take part. The other agencies from outside participated and, the NES allotted the work to them," Rymbui said.
Furthermore, the Education Minister informed that while the implementation of some of the projects has started, soil testing is ongoing for others.
"After the soil testing is done, the WAPCOS will prepare the DPR and, the tender will be floated and, whoever is the successful bidder, the work will be allotted to that person/company," he added.
Rs 960 crore of sanctions have been obtained for setting up 40 EMRS in all the blocks of the State to transform the secondary education scenario in Meghalaya.