Ranchi, Sept 14: The water resources department today asked Subernarekha Multipurpose Project (SMP) director Rahul Sharma to prepare concrete action plans that would lessen paperwork and boost tasks on the ground, vesting him with sole responsibility to execute various schemes under the interstate irrigation plan.
At a review presided over by deputy chief minister Sudesh Mahto, who heads the water resources department, it was decided that the director need not seek the government’s permission for tasks such as floating tenders in order to speed up progress of the decades-long project.
It was also observed that over 90 tenders had to be floated in the coming days.
“The tender process has to begin for work involving expenses to the tune of Rs 300 crore. But if we club together a few small projects, tenders could be floated for bigger sums and reputable companies may automatically take more interest. This will also lessen paperwork and make monitoring and evaluation of the concrete works easier. The minister also stressed effective publicity drive to attract big players and ensure quality work,” said special secretary in the department B.C. Nigam.
Jharkhand government received over Rs 435 crore from the Centre for SMP towards the end of the last fiscal.
Unless it spends at least 70 per cent of it by the year-end, a second instalment to the tune of Rs 500 crore will not be released. So far, the government has barely spent Rs 158 crore.
The ever-rising inflation and the time consumed by technicalities involved in revising old project estimates, too, keep potential bidders at bay.
The meeting decided to adopt the rates and procedure functional at the Centre, where rate schedules automatically fluctuate with fall or dip in inflation. “I have asked the department secretary to prepare a proposal to this effect that will be forwarded for cabinet approval,” Mahto opined.
Problems faced over acquisition of land were also discussed at the meeting. Over Rs 250 crore have been earmarked under the head, but the state is yet to spend the funds.
In accordance with the Land Acquisition Act, the amounts are lying with the special land acquisition officer and the bank account is being operated under a single signature. The officer issues cheques to donors as and when needed.
“As the amount is huge, whosoever becomes the special officer feels that he or she will have to remain extra-cautious. It is being demanded that the account should be operated under two signatures. We have decided to request the finance department to make amendments in the rules and also facilitate transfer of funds to land donors through electronic clearance,” Mahto said.