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Contractors begin fast over graft

Dibrugarh: Alleging nepotism and rampant corruption in the allotment of contracts, members of the Dibrugarh water resources contractors association on Tuesday began an indefinite hunger strike on the Dibrugarh water resource department division office premises.

Lashing out at the state government, the contractors' association alleged that the introduction of e-tendering was a ploy to favour the big contractors and marginalise the small contractors.

According to the association, even e-tendering was not followed by the department since several big-ticket projects were allotted to some big contractors with political clout without going through the e-tendering process.

The president of the Dibrugarh Water Resources Contractors' Association, Parag Gogoi, cited two recent examples when two big contracts were allotted to contractors without going through the tendering process.

One project was allotted at chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal's home constituency Chabua where a Rs 40-lakh project was given to a contractor under the scheme Land Reclamation Measures at Mulukgaon to choke spill channels of the Brahmaputra (Ananta Nallah). Another project worth Rs 46.98 lakh was allegedly allotted without tender for restoration of Bogibeel Aithan ring bund (2018-19).

"Even contingency fund schemes are being given to some contractors without e-tendering. People with political clout are being allotted the projects. There is no transparency," he added.

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