No permanent House for state yet

SHILLONG: The state’s wait for a new Assembly building is getting longer with the project at Mawdiangdiang still hanging fire.
It has been 17 years since the heritage Assembly building at Khyndailad was destroyed in a fire but construction of the new one has not even started though several locations were identified and finalised.
Now, the state government is keen to construct the new Assembly at Mawdiandiang but the project is being delayed.
Speaking to The Shillong Times, an official in the Public Works Department said it is currently in the process of technical evaluation of the tender of four parties.
The evaluation is likely to be completed next week after which it will be sent to the tender committee that in turn will approve it and forward it to the High Powered Committee on the new Assembly building.
Later, financial bid for the project will be opened and the lowest bidder will be allotted the work.
Earlier, a tender was scrapped. So apprehensions remain till the project work actually begins.
Last April, speaker and committee chairman Donkupar Roy had said the building would be completed within the tenure of the MDA government and in three years’ time, the session will take place in the new Assembly.
On January 9, 2001, a major fire engulfed the building. The High Powered Committee last year was forced to scrap the tender as one of the bidders had quoted a rate over 15 per cent lower than the bid value.
PWD had opened the price bid after three firms — Simplex Infrastructure Pvt ltd, Gautam Construction Pvt Ltd and Shapoorji Pallonji Co & Ltd — qualified in the technical bidding.
At present, Assembly sessions are held at the Arts and Culture Building in rilbong and before that U Soso Tham auditorium was used.
With the change of speakers and the state government, the location of the proposed building was changed on many occasions and there were talks to construct the building in Police Bazar, Upper Shillong and even Tara Ghar, the erstwhile official residence of the chief minister.
The allocated budget for the new building is Rs 140 crore and the committee has already approved the design and an 80-acre plot was allocated at Mawdiandiang.

Timeline
· 2001: Heritage Assembly building gutted
· 2002: Construction work in Police Bazar allotted to one individual
· 2004: Former chief minister DD Lapang made a move to construct the building at Mawdiangdiang
· 2008:Former governor MM Jacob laid the foundation stone for the building in Upper Shillong
· Another decision to have the new building at Taraghar, a heritage site, was dropped after a petition was filed before the High Court
· 2017: High Powered Committee of the previous MUA government scraped the tender for construction of the new building at Mawdiandiang as a bidder quoted rate below bid value

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