TODAY -
Estimate Committee detects missing link in Khuga
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, January 07: The canals of the proposed Khuga Multipurpose Project constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 58 crores have now become the 'missing links' even before the Dam of the project has been constructed following gross negligence and protracted delay in the completion of the project.

The project has been under construction since 1981.The Estimate Committee of the State Legislative Assembly yesterday conducted an on the spot verification of the progress of the Project.

The team comprised of MLAs M Nilachandra Singh, O Joy, L Ibotomba Singh and Danny Shaiza.

The work on the Project commenced in 1981 and construction of the canals were taken up in 1985 but now many of the canals have been damaged or silted, while the construction work of still many others have been left mid-way though money for the work which was estimated at Rs 58 crores had already been released.

The construction of the dam of the Project too is far from completion.

It is being undertaken by the National Project Construction Corporation (NPCC).

Talking to The Sangai Express, NPCC Deputy General Manager Basak informed that the main impediment in the construction of the dam is the non-release of fund by the Government.

The Government of Manipur is yet to pay off a pending due of Rs 2.5 crores to the Corporation, he disclosed, and added that the dam work had even been stalled for almost six years as no fund was released in time for the construction work by the Government.

He further informed that more than 450 local labourers are being employed and spend around Rs 3.5 lakhs on payment of wages alone to the labourers daily.

The State Government has put the Corporation in a fixed and has been unable to pay off salaries to the labourers for the past two months, he said.

A woman labour working at the site complained to the Estimate Committee members that they have not given their due daily wages for the month of December so far and many of them were starving.

She also warned that they would stop working on the site if the pending wages were not clear at the earliest.

It may be mentioned here that these workers were presently being engaged for the construction of the 60m broad and 15 m high spillway of the dam.

The officials NPCC informed that the Union Ministry of Water Resource Management had sanctioned an amount of Rs 24 crores for the Khuga Project during the current fiscal year 2002-03.But the Government had released only Rs 10 crores so far for the construction work.

If this trend continues, the prospect of completing the project within 2004 as targeted is very dimmed, they said.

On the other hand, though Khuga Multipurpose Project Raw Water Supply Scheme which was taken up with the main objective of providing safe drinking water to the people of Churachandpur town has been completed since 1995, the scheme has not been inaugurated so far, thereby leaving the infrastructure of the scheme idling.

The construction work of the water supply scheme estimated to provide 5 million gallon of water daily, was taken way back in 1994 with laying of the foundation stone of the Pump House by the then State Governor Lt Gen VKNayar (retired).

A total of Rs 6 crores have been expended on its construction.

But as it has not been pressed into service all these, many of the buildings have been crumbled and machines and other infrastructures stolen.

There was no sign of any chowkidar looking after the Pump House and the Water Reservoir though one had been reportedly appointed for the purpose.


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