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Water supply scheme loses steam over slow fund flow

SHILLONG: The third phase of the Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme is moving sluggishly thanks to slow fund flow.
PHE Minister Prestone Tynsong said on Wednesday the work for the third phase of the scheme has been slowed down as Rs 43 crore meant for the project has just come to the Urban Affairs Department from the Finance Department. The work will gain momentum only after the money is transferred to the PHE Department.
Speaking to media persons here on Wednesday, Tynsong said the department would now put pressure on the contractor to expedite the project. He, however, was hopeful that work would be complete by March next year depending on the availability of funds.
The Minister, while asserting that the progress on the project is around 90 percent, said laying of pipes is remaining and most of the work, including laying of the main feeder, is almost complete.
The Centre recently waived the penalty that was imposed after Meghalaya failed to initiate the Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme under JNNURM and also reimbursed Rs 43 crore meant for the project.
The deadline to complete the project, which began in 2010, was set as March 2015. The PHE Department had planned to commission Phase III of the project by March 2017 but unavailability of resources is likely to lead to another round of delay.
The total budget for the project is Rs 193.49 crore with the Centre sharing 90 percent (around Rs 174 crore) of it.

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