Site for the proposed water project at Mango. Telegraph picture
Jamshedpur, May 21: The mega Mango drinking water project, which earlier got stuck due to red tape, is getting further delayed even after the completion of the tendering process.
Escalation in the project cost in the re-tendering has created a stumbling block. With limited power vested with the tender committee, excessive increase in the project cost in the second tendering process has caused the tender panel to refer the matter to the minister of the department concerned.
Minister of drinking water and sanitation department Chandra Prakash Chowdhary just sat on the file instead taking necessary steps for the state cabinet’s approval.
With most of the wells dried up and tube-wells defunct, majority of around three lakh people living in Mango is leading a miserable life due to acute shortage of drinking water around the year.
Amid protests and processions demanding regular drinking water supply, the residents were hopeful that work on the mega water project will begin shortly and the issue would be solved by next year. But it seems they will have to wait for a longer period.
After a prolonged exercise, the department had in March awarded the tender for the Rs 50-crore project to IVRCL, a Hyderabad-based company. But the tender price escalated by 16 per cent, as the estimated cost of the project initially was Rs 43 crore.
As the tender committee was not competent to give the work order to IVRCL for execution at escalated price, it forwarded the case file to Chowdhary.
The tender was passed in March this year, but the tender committee did not forward it Chowdhary unless BJP legislator Sarayu Roy, who represented the area, sent reminders and pressurised the department for two months.
When Chowdhary finally got the file, he dragged his feet despite Roy’s repeated reminders.
“The file is with me. I will definitely get it passed by the cabinet, but it will take some more time,” said Chowdhary when asked about the fate of the Mango water project file.
Chowdhary told The Telegraph that there was no scope of adding the price escalation clause, but it would take a bit more time as he was waiting for the cabinet session, which may be convened anytime in the next fortnight.
The minister, said: “Will the people of the area get drinking water immediately after the construction work begins? It will take about two years it to get over. And when they waited so much, will it matter if they wait for two more weeks?”
According to the blueprint of the water project, there would be six water towers in Mango, Pardih and Baliguma. Water would be procured from Subernarekha river and supplied to households through a network of pipelines across the slums in entire Mango.
Roy has said that the department of drinking water and sanitation is testing his patience. He claimed to The Telegraph having told Chowdhary that he would stage dharna in the Assembly if the project failed to take off within the next fortnight.