Shillong: The delay in the Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme (GSWSS) has led to higher expenses, with the government sanctioning an additional Rs 65 crore.

Public Health Engineering (PHE) minister Renikton Lyngdoh Tongkhar on Tuesday informed that the department is determined to complete the project by the end of this year. The project was affected badly due to the pandemic, but the department is trying its best to see how they can recover from the pandemic.

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Although 80% of the physical work is complete, the department encountered several challenges, including laying pipes under roads and passing through the defence and private lands. But most of the issues are resolved, the PHE minister said.

“This government is keen to complete the incomplete task started by the previous government. The GSWSS, for many years, has been pending. But this government has taken it seriously to sanction the required extra amount of Rs 65 crore, and that has been able to inspire the contractors to work on this project and resume it. We hope to complete it within this year,” said Tongkhar.

The GSWSS Phase III aims to solve the water woes faced by the residents of Shillong. The project was approved by the Union Government at a cost of Rs 193.50 crore in October 2008 with a completion deadline of May 2011. The objective of this project was to create infrastructure to provide for the supply of additional 24 million litres of water to the projected population of Shillong Urban Agglomeration from 2011 to 2041.

Tongkhar also inaugurated the Upper Shillong Water Supply Scheme on Tuesday. This scheme was sanctioned way back in 2010, and the foundation stone was laid on July 14, 2010 but no work was done until today. He said, “We understand that it was supposed to complete 11 years back, but couldn’t be completed due to many reasons. I am happy that the citizens are seeing the light of the day of this project.”

The Upper Shillong Water Supply Scheme also need a cost revision. The original estimate was Rs 33 crore and now it has been revised to Rs 39.95 crore.

Even though it has been delayed, Tongkhar thanked the government for taking the project seriously. “This government is putting focus to complete the incomplete project in all the departments,” he added.



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