Patna: The Rs 426.29-crore Patna water supply project, which was to be completed by March 28, 2014, has been delayed due to lapses by the selected contractor, Gammons India, urban development minister Samrat Chaudhury informed Bihar assembly on Thursday. He said the contract with Gammons India would be terminated and the company blacklisted. Not even 10% of the project work has been completed.
Replying to a starred question of Achyutanand (BJP), the minister said the Government of India-sponsored water supply scheme under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission was aimed at supplying drinking water in all the 72 wards of Patna Municipal Corporation area. The Union urban development ministry and Bihar government were to equally share the total cost of the scheme.
Gammons India was also asked to maintain the water supply scheme for the next three years, Chaudhury said. It was expected to set up water treatment plants in all the wards as Ganga water was to be supplied in the city. Out of 72 wards in Patna, land for water tower and treatment plant was made available in only 26 wards. Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation (BUIDCO) MD had sent letters to the officers of different government departments and educational institutions in Patna seeking land, but there was no response.
Leader of opposition Nand Kishore Yadav regretted the minister did not seek the cooperation of legislators from Patna in getting land for the scheme. The government should take action against the guilty officials too.
Replying to a starred question of Rajkumar Rai (JD-U), agriculture minister Narendra Singh informed the House that the Union food and supplies ministry has been requested to procure maize produced in North Bihar and arrange its marketing. He said the Government of India has fixed its minimum support price at Rs 1310 per quintal. Food Corporation of India has received direction from the Centre to purchase maize from Bihar farmers, he said.
Replying to a question of Congress’s Sadanand Singh, public health engineering department minister Mahachandra Prasad Singh said water supply to Janidih village under Kahalgaon block of Bhagalpur district would be started by July 31. He said the project was launched in 2009-10 and was expected to be completed by 2011. There had been inordinate delay, Mahachandra admitted.