AS: Guwahati drainage project stalled

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. 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...

UK: Sitarganj Spice Park Project

Among the goodies announced by then Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna before the parliamentary elections were two spice parks at Sitarganj and Sahaspur. With the change of guard in the state and the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, the projects have been pushed on the back burner. In order to reap political benefit in 2013, Vijay Bahuguna had managed to convince the Centre for setting up a spice park in Sitarganj, his Assembly constituency. The park of the Spices Board was earlier proposed to be set up at Majri Grant in Doiwala. Due to non-availability of land, the project could not take off. After Bahuguna envisaged interest in the parks and announced them as a part of the goodies for voters, the project came into focus in 2013. Sahaspur is part of the Tehri parliamentary constituency, from where Bahuguna’s son Saket had contested the General Election. The proposal was aimed at shoring up the electoral prospects of Bahuguna’s son, who eventually lost the election. At that point of time, it was said the spice parks in Sitarganj and Sahaspur would served the purpose of farmers in the Garhwal and Kumaon regions. Taking into account the meagre production of spices in the state, a mini spice park near Dehradun could have served the purpose of farmers. “Considering the viability of the project, it would have been suitable in Sahaspur,” said RC Sharma, Additional Secretary, Horticulture. “Farmers from Tehri, Chakrata and Dehradun would have utilised the facilities. Spices like ginger, turmeric and chilies are produced in abundance,” he said. The Spices Board midway announced that approval was only for a park...

GJ: DMIC project, NA tag for land stalled

The state government has ‘unofficially’ halted the process of clearing all land seeking non-agriculture (NA) certification in the districts of Mehsana, Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad, for a month at least. This is on account of the detailed development plan under preparation for the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC). Sources in the government inform that the DMIC includes 150 km on both the sides. This area will require fine planning, primarily by the DMIC officials, to identify which industry will be placed where and therefore, the land use pattern around it will be decided accordingly. “Most of the current plansare likely to be altered. For instance, if a certain patch of land is given permission for commercial use, it would then be a cumbersome process to alter the given permission, if that land is required for public use for development activity.” “The developers’ plans would also go awry. So it has been decided to keep on hold the NA permissions for now, till plans are clear,” a source close to the developments said. Collectors of the three districts have been instructed accordingly. “Though there will be no official communication on these lines, the process will be delayed under one pretext or the other,” an official said. DMIC enters Gujarat near Palanpur and passes through Mehsana-Gandhinagar-Ahmedabad-Vadodara-Bharuch-Surat and then moves into Maharashtra. Dholera SIR and port city is being developed on a massive scale to attract international investments in the region. Many logistics parks have been planned on the corridor. “The buzz is clearly out about the development activities but there is no clarity of exact plans. Land is changing hands thick and fast....

WB: Bardhaman Health City Project

The Rs 1,000 crore heath city project coming up in Bardhaman, a Tier II city about 150 kilometres north of Kolkata, is expected to generate direct and indirect employment of over 9,400 people when fully operational besides promoting health tourism in the state. The project, being developed on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode by the Bardhaman Development Authority and Bengal CES Infratech Private Ltd in association with FAITH Healthcare Private Ltd is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2014. The project is expected to generate work for about eight million man-days over the next five years and provide direct employment to around 1,400 people for operation and maintenance of the Health City. When fully operational, the state-of-the-art 500-bed speciality hospital inside the Health City would require around 8,000 professionals including doctors, health specialists, nurses paramedics and other support staff. The Health City will also have centres of excellence for various super speciality treatment, pharmacy, telehealth institute, rehabilitation centre, medical college, mother and child health centre, hostels for staff & students, convenience stores, recreational facilities and other civic amenities. SS Chakraborty, chairman, FAITH Healthcare Private Limited said, “We will march ahead with faith and committment to human development through our...

WB: Burdwan Hospital Project

Bengal’s first super-speciality government hospital outside Calcutta had to wait years with new machines wrapped and idle because the authorities were hunting for a place to house the facility in CPM bastion Burdwan. The centre is to be inaugurated tomorrow, five years after it was announced to much fanfare and almost two years since equipment worth Rs 12 crore arrived and was mothballed because the authorities had not thought of the space until last year. “The hospital will be thrown open to the public tomorrow,” said Uday Sarkar, the chief of the CPM-run zilla parishad which was asked by the health department to build the 500-bed centre. Health minister Surjya Kanta Mishra will attend the opening along with industries minister Nirupam Sen, who hails from Burdwan. “Poor people will get ultra-modern cardiac and other specialised treatments here,” the health minister had said last month about the hospital, which has been named Anamoy. Mishra’s visit was believed to have spurred the authorities into speeding up the project. But asked about the delay, he blamed it on lack of “suitable place”. “Once we decided on the building, the second floor had to be built. Two more floors will be added in the near future,” Mishra said. There was no explanation for new equipment being kept idle for two years when it could have been put to use if the authorities had thought of the space first. The hospital, an extension of Burdwan Medical College and Hospital, will have an advanced cardiology, nephrology, urology and burn units as well as a trauma care centre — a long-standing demand as the accident-prone National...