Jorhat, Sept. 11: The forensic science lab, which was proposed in November last year to be set up here, is yet to see the light of day despite the Directorate of Forensic Science, Guwahati, occupying the top floor of the ISBT building since January this year.
Director Rajendra Nath Khound refused to divulge the reason for the delay and said it would be opened latest by the end of this year.
Khound told The Telegraph over phone from Guwahati that he would not be able to say why it was delayed but hinted funds crunch.
He also said the top floor was being occupied not since January but some time later.
A source, however, said the top floor had been occupied from January 2 and three personnel of the directorate, a deputy director, a junior scientific officer and a laboratory bearer, were transferred here.
“While the junior scientific officer and laboratory bearer have taken up rented houses in Jorhat, the deputy director pays flying visits from Guwahati,” the source said.
Officially occupation is shown from May this year, when the rent became effective following an agreement between the Assam State Transport Corporation and the directorate to pay Rs 72,000 per month as rent, including VAT and sales tax.
Though the directorate occupies more than 4,000 square feet of space on the second floor, no money has been paid yet. .
The source said a week after occupation in January, work on partitioning of rooms and furniture was started.
However, after that no work has been done except for putting up a glow signboard.
The source said computers had been purchased but have not been received in the absence of security, a car had been sought from the home department but it is yet to be sanctioned.
Security services have been sought but it is not known how the modalities are being worked out.
The two days on which this correspondent visited the laboratory in the past fortnight, the room in which the furniture — some tables and chairs — were kept was locked up and there was no one in sight, probably as the unit is still non-functional.
The source said on December 21, home department (administration) had sought space from ASTC and a reply had been given on December 28 that the space was available for temporarily setting up the laboratory.
On February 6, 2013, M.C. Deka, deputy secretary to the state home department, said, “I was directed to convey the government approval towards signing of agreement furnished vide your letter under reference (No. ASTC 1339/12/1122 dated 28/12) for providing space for establishment of a regional forensic science laboratory at ISBT, Jorhat, by the director of forensic science lab, Assam, as licensee.”