A tussle between Hudco and the Assam government has put the Guwahati Metropolitan Area Storm Drainage Improvement Programme in limbo. The Rs 96 crore project sponsored by Hudco was launched in December 1999 and was expected to be fully operational by March 2002. However, Hudco's fresh condition that the state government stand surety for Hudco loans drawn earlier by agencies like the Guwahati Municipal Corporation and the state Housing Board has almost stalled the implementation of the project midway.
Hudco has sponsored the Rs 96 crore project
The Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority is the nodal agency for the project while four state government departments, namely PWD, Irrigation, Flood Control and Town and Country Planning, are engaged in the programme implementation. Of the total project cost, Hudco had committed Rs 70 crore. However, to date the funding agency has released only Rs 21.46 crore. According to Hudco sources, the release of Rs 19.51 crore has been withheld pending surety from the state government.
Any delay in implementing the project due to paucity of funds is likely to escalate the cost of the project, as certain works may require redoing owing to constant siltation in the rivulets. Despite this the authorities are confident of opening the Bharalu Swice Gate of the project soon.