Another water resource project sans benefits

Written by Meghalaya Times. Posted in Front Page

Staff Reporter
TURA, Nov 28: Continuing the trend of projects made by the water resource department that only act as showpieces, another Minor Irrigation Project (MIP) undertaken under West Garo Hills (WGH) district has become an absolute cropper with not a single drop of water going into the irrigation channels despite of 8.7 crores of public funds being spent on it.
The project has now come under scanner after the Achik Youth Council (AYC) wrote a complaint to the Chief Minister, Dr. Mukul Sangma through the Deputy Commissioner (DC) of WGH, Pravin Bakshi 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 the 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.


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