House panel summons top officials

Airport anomalies

SHILLONG: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the State Assembly has summoned top officials of the state government for non-compliance of its report relating to Umroi Airport project.
“We have decided to summon the officials to appear before the committee on May 24,” the PAC chairman Paul Lyngdoh told reporters after a meeting of the committee here on Tuesday.
Those who have been summoned include Chief Secretary KS Kropha, Deputy Commissioner of Ri Bhoi District Pooja Pande, officials from the departments of Revenue, Transport and PWD (Building).
Lyngdoh said that the departments have failed to come up with the ‘action taken report’ as per the findings of committee, the report of which was placed before the state assembly during the just concluded session.
According to  Lyngdoh, “The PAC has found the Deputy Commissioner of Ri-Bhoi had acted in a very arbitrary manner  as far as acquisition of land and payment of compensation to those whose land has been acquired for the project.”
“We have called this meeting to end this harassment faced by the land owners,” Lyngdoh said.
He observed that rightful land owners were to be identified and justice be delivered to them in conformity with the law.
“Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act has been passed by the Parliament. The concerned departments do not seem to have had the courtesy of going through the committee report,” he said adding “Therefore, we issued summons to them to come up with adequate and sufficient answers.  GSWSS project : The sanction for the Phase III of the Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme (GSWSS) has been plagued by delays and inadequacies as the actual implementation and achievement is only 38 per cent as per CAG report.
Informing this, Lyngdoh said, “The GSWSS has run into rough weather with a delay of two years. However, the department has received Rs Rs 43.5 crore for the phase IV of the project. During the inspection of  the site at Mawphlang in January, the PAC found that the project has made considerable progress.”
Commenting on the delay of the project, he observed that the PWD and PHE department should work in tandem for the speedy completion of the project.
“We want an assurance from the PHE department to complete the project by March next year,” he said adding that the department was, however, apprehensive about meeting the March-next deadline.
Replying to a query on providing safe  drinking water, Lyngdoh said, “The GSWSS safety level is satisfactory but the people of Greater Shillong are receiving water from seven sources. Of these water is treated at two sources and the remaining five are conventional sources, where water is not treated.”
In this connection, the members of the PAC were assured by the Additional Chief Secretary that the Phase IV will look into safety aspect also, he said.

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