Anchalikatabadi Asom Gana Parishad (AAGP) on Saturday slammed the fiasco involving the Asian Development Bank-sponsored Dibrugarh Town Protection (DTP) drain project, after the Madrid-based construction company Corsan Corviam Construction left the project in a limbo.
The Spanish company was awarded the Rs 169.89 crore contract on February 20, 2014 under the Assam Urban Infrastructure Investment Program. Work on the 9.5-km long drain began on June 5, 2014 but the pace remain so sluggish that even after crossing the May 22, 2017 deadline, less than 20% of the work could be finished. Then suddenly, in November 2017, the construction company left the project midway after its parent organisation filed for bankruptcy. The state government has already initiated process of rebidding for the multi-crore drain project.
Addressing a press conference here AAGP Sunil Rajkonwar said, “It is indeed unfortunate that the government is taking the issue quite lightly. Dibrugarh is the home town of chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal. The people of the town have been facing acute waterlogging every year. In 2015 the entire Dibrugarh town was under water for 10 days at a stretch. Lifeboats had to ply on the roads instead of vehicles. One of Sonowal’s election promises to the people was to make Dibrugarh free from waterlogging. However, no seriousness can be seen in resolving the problem.”
Waterlogging during monsoon has been a perennial feature of Dibrugarh town. The present drain built in the early 1950s has lost the capacity to flush out rainwater from the town.
Unchecked encroachment and lack of maintenance have hampered the normal functioning of the storm water drain.
“Flood and erosion are the main problems and every year flood ravages many villages. The department should seriously work but they are not working,” he said adding the funds which were allocated in the previous budget are not used properly.