Sinlung /
30 May 2014

'Delay for decades shoots up cost of five NE Projects'

Guwahati, May 30
: An analysis by the South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP), a network of organizations and individuals working on water-related issues, found that the cost of five large irrigation dams in the northeast has escalated manifold in the last three decades even as the projects remained incomplete.

The analysis, "Present Tensed, Future Expensive: Large Irrigation Projects in Northeast India", said five of the 12 projects have ran into enormous cost escalation and time overrun.

"But this focus on the five projects out of 12 should not be taken as an 'all is well' certificate for the remaining seven. There are significant issues with those projects as well, but from the perspective of time and cost overrun, these five projects present a very critical picture," the report said.

According to the analysis, the Khuga Multipurpose Project in Manipur's Churachandpur district was considered in 1980 when the cost of the project was Rs 15 crore.

The cost of the project rose to Rs 433.91 crore in 2012.

The Dolaithabi Barrage Project in Manipur was first approved by the Planning Commission in 1992 at an estimated cost of Rs 18.86 crore. SANDRP said the cost increased 19 times in 2012 and the project is yet to be completed even after 22 years.

In case of Thoubal Multipurpose Project in Manipur, SANDRP said it was first considered by the Planning Commission in 1980 and the original cost of the project was Rs 47.25 crore, but increased to Rs 982 crore in 2009 and Rs 1387.85 crore in 2012.

SANDRP's analysis covered two projects in Assam - Dhansiri irrigation project in Darrang district and Champamati irrigation project in Chirang district.

The Dhansiri project started in 1975 at an estimated cost of Rs 15.83 crore, SANDRP said. Now the project is slated to be completed by March 2015 and the cost has increased 35.82 times over a period of 40 years.

The Champamati irrigation project started in 1980 with an original cost of Rs 15.32 crore, but in 2010, the cost increased 20 times. SANDRP said the benefits expected to be derived from these projects would hardly justify the expenses incurred.


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