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GSWSS to miss March deadline

PHED receives final installment of Rs 43 crore

SHILLONG: The Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme (GSWSS) phase III is unlikely to be completed anytime soon due to fund constraints even as there are reports of water scarcity in parts of the city.
After several unsuccessful deadlines, the recent deadline to commission the project was in March this year, but it is uncertain whether the project will be completed this year.
An official with PHE said on Wednesday that while the department recently received the last and fourth installment of Rs 43 crore, another Rs 17 crore, which was deducted by the Centre for lack of civic reforms on the part of the government, is yet to be disbursed.
The Centre had withheld Rs 17 crore as penalty after the State Government failed to fulfil certain urban reforms under JNNURM.
The total budget for the project is Rs 193.49 crore with the Centre sharing 90 percent (around Rs 174 crore) of it.
Moreover, the delay in restoration of pipelines under the scheme has also affected water supply.
Among the 12 zones in parts of the city, the restoration work and laying of pipes were completed only in two zones – Pynthorumkhrah and Nongthymmai – whereas for the last one year, the restoration work for other 10 zones are yet to be completed.
The work related to the laying of pipes was delayed due to the tussle between the PHE Department and the PWD as to who would carry out digging of the road to lay the pipes.
Later, there was a mutual understanding between the departments and the work recently started for the remaining 10 zones.
However, there are complaints of water scarcity in Jaiaw, Mawkhar, Riatsamthiah and adjoining areas of the city.
A resident of Jaiaw has brought the matter before both PHE and the Shillong Municipal Board on Wednesday, but in vain.
The officials of both the agencies only conveyed to the resident that the matter will be looked into.

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