KHADC ‘cleans’ Wahumkhrah at a cost of Rs 1.35 cr

SHILLONG: The dying Wahumkhrah has been revived and is back to its once pristine state.
These words sound too good to be true.
However, the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) seems to have done the impossible, albeit only on paper.
Replies sought under the Right To Information Act, 2005 confirm that the entire river has been cleaned at a cost of Rs 1.35 crore.
In reality, the Wahumkhrah continues to flow – not as a river but as an oversized drain – emanating foul smell, and carrying the dirt and filth of all illegal settlers who have made the river banks their home and business centres.
The RTI replies clearly indicate the misuse of the hard earned money of the tax payers by the KHADC. Since not an inch of the river is clean, the RTI response is a clear indication that Rs 1.35 crore has been misappropriated by the who’s who of the department of Water Resources, KHADC.
As per the reply to the RTI query, the KHADC Water Resources department claims to have spent Rs 1.35 crore from the 13th Finance Commission with a total spending of Rs 1 crore in 2011-12, Rs 15 lakh in 2012-13 and Rs 20 lakh in 2013-14.
The RTI reply mentions that Rs 9,40,000 had been sanctioned for construction of drains, waste trap, retaining wall etc, in 32 locations spread across the length of the river.
It was further revealed that Rs 15,00,000 had been sanctioned for constructing retaining wall. Incidentally, Jaiaw locality, through which the river passes, did not receive any benefit from the scheme, whereas other localities are shown as beneficiaries. Jaiaw was not sanctioned any fund since the locality    had failed to submit the location for construction of a drainage system.
Another surprising revelation is that the Water Resources department of the KHADC spent Rs 3 lakh for the foundation stone for cleaning the river, laid by the CEM P.N. Syiem on March 12, 2012.
It is learnt that the MDCs cleaned the river only once with an expenditure of Rs 6 lakh.
Out of Rs 1.35 crore an amount of Rs 1,25,97,557 was spent for the cleaning drive leaving a balance of Rs 8,00,443, the RTI reply stated.

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