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MLA rush to review progress of work

Jorhat, May 21: Rattled by the Lok Sabha poll debacle, the Congress, which has been in power in the state since 2001, has got down to business with its leaders and mandarins reviewing projects.

AICC secretary and Jorhat legislator Rana Goswami, accompanied by Jorhat deputy commissioner Solanki Vishal Vasant and officials of departments concerned, today visited incomplete projects sites to review the progress of work.

The visit included AT Road Bhogdoi bridge project, the delay of which had figured in the speech of Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi during his campaign for Jorhat Lok Sabha seat, which has been wrested by the BJP for the first time. Modi had ridiculed chief minister Tarun Gogoi for not being able to complete the 16.4metre bridge in his hometown even four years after laying the foundation stone in 2010. The bridge was scheduled to be complete within 18 months.

As the bridge is being built on AT Road, which connects two major parts of the town, it disrupts traffic and poses problems for commuters. The RCC bridge is being reconstructed at a cost of Rs 7.18 crore, as the previous one, completed 40 years ago, developed internal damage. The new one is designed to be bigger with wider carriageway for vehicles and pavements.

Goswami told The Telegraph that the government has been carrying out development since 2001, but delay in one or two projects had been made political issues by Opposition parties. “The Bhogdoi bridge is an ambitious project using steel and has a beautiful design (arch shape). But work on the project slowed down because of heavy rainfall last year and delay in bringing the steel frame from Calcutta by the firm engaged to construct the project,” he added.

Goswami, who had directed the public works department to ask the firm to complete the bridge by March 31, 2014, today asked PWD officials to impose penalty on the firm every month if the bridge was not ready by July-end.

He also visited Neemati Ghat on the outskirts of this town to inspect erosion by the Brahmaputra.

He said Dispur had sanctioned Rs 13 crore to strengthen anti-erosion measures and the district water resources department had submitted a proposal to Dispur to take up such measures at nearby Dianigaon.

Replying to a query on intra-party dissidence, Goswami said he and Bhupen Bora, AICC secretary and a legislator, would soon submit a “neutral assessment” of the situation to the high command.