Thoubal project cost hiked
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 24: Owing to many shortcomings and delay, the Thoubal Multipurpose Project is now estimated to cost Rs 390 crore as against the earlier estimate of Rs 47.25 crore, Irrigation and Flood Control Minister N Mangi Singh said during Question Hour in the State Assembly today.

The project was envisaged in 1980 and the estimated amount was fixed at Rs 47.25 crore by the Planning Commission of India.

The cost was later revised to Rs 254 crore due to delay and as of now estimate cost for completion of the project is pegged at Rs 390 crore due to delay and inflation.

When asked on delay of project completion, Mangi cited delay, non release of adequate funds, land acquisition wrangling, ethnic problems, law and order situation and above all non allocation of State share.

The Minister also said that a sum of Rs 3.24 crore meant for compensation to land holders have been deposited to State Account due to dispute between two villages.

He added that other than the said amount there is no other fund deposited at the State account as the money sanctioned has been utilized.

Setting 2006-07 as the target for completion of the project, the Minister informed the House that on completion the project would provide irrigation facilities to three Assembly constituencies of Thoubal district and 21,862 hectare of land in Andro Assembly constituency of Imphal East.

As the name suggest the project will also provide 10 million gallon of safe drinking water and 7.5 MW of electricity on daily basis, the Minister added.

On the present status of the project, Mangi said that 18 per cent of the work on dam and spillway, 100 percent of the work on barrage and 70 per cent on canal has been completed.

Joining the discussion, Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh lamented that the construction work on dam and spillway which need to be completed before have been delay and the work on canal and barrage which can be delay have been competed earlier.

However, the Chief Minister assured the House that the work which need to be given top priority have been taken up at the earnest and fund meant for the project have been sanctioned without and delay.

So far the project has incurred Rs 214.53 crore till the end of March this year, the Mangi added.

Tribal fund: TD Minister, Ngamthang Haokip during Question Hour stated that funds meant for tribal development in the State sanctioned by the Centre have been held up due to acute financial condition of the State and assured that all out efforts will be made to release the fund as soon as the RBI ban has been lifted.

While replying to a question put up by MLA Danny Shaiza, the Minister said the Centre had sanctioned Rs 13,45,05,000 for the development of tribal in the State from the consolidated fund for the financial year 2001-02 and 2002-03.The TD Minister said that out of the said amount, Rs 6,35,-47,000 have been utilized and for the two financial years Rs 17,81,06,000 under the tribal sub-plan out of Rs 21,32,57,000 have been spend adding that the fund allocated under sub-plan and consolidated amounting to Rs 10,61,09,000 have been freezed in the State account.

On the charges hurled by tribal student bodies on misuse of sub-plan money some time back, the Minister clarified that no money from the sub-plan have been misutilized and the money is intact in the State account.