Vinoda Datarama Paliencar, the fiery Water Resource Minister and MLA from Siolim, is in the news again. Remember the time when he proposed a complete ban on rave parties on Goa’s beaches and complained that the Goa Police are turning a blind eye to such parties? He’s back now asking why taxpayers money is being wasted on a playground in Assagaon that has been taking too long to come up.
A 4.22 crore project, still not completed
According to a report by the Navhind Times, Mr Paliencar was fuming when he made a surprise visit to a playground in Assagaon that was supposed to be developed with taxpayers money. he was fuming because he found that nothing much had been done at the playground site. The playground project was tendered at a substantial 4.22 crores. A Pune based company had won the project. The size of the project was a full 15000 square meters. Of this 6500 sq meters was earmarked for a football ground and remaining area for changing rooms, stands, parking and other amenities.
Believe it or not, the foundation stone was first laid in 2007. Then again in 2015 another foundation stone was laid. It’s now November 2017, so Mr. Paliencar decided to do a surprise check on the status of the project. When he paid a visit to the site, he wasn’t alone. With him were the Executive Director of Sports Authority of Goa V M Prabhudessai, the executive engineer Jai Krishna Tilve, Junior engineer Maxson Fernandes and the work supervisor Chandrashekhar Naik.
All of them received a shock. The entire ground was still a patch of wild vegetation. The interiors and the stands were dirty, and there were beer bottles lying around.
Here’s what the contractor’s supervisor Chandrashekhar Naik had to say:
It will not be possible to complete the work before December 19. We will need another three months to finish the work
I have undertaken the work at good pace but due to delay in payment the work has slowed down
My bill of around Rs 1.40 crore which I submitted is pending
According to the report in the Navhind Times, the Executive Director, VM Prabhudesai explained to Paliencar that the first bill of Rs 1.30 crore was already cleared and second bill is also with the accounts department and will be soon cleared soon. According to the Director, there was really no need for the contractor to hold up the entire project due to non-clearance of the bills.
In fact here’s what Mr VM Prabhudesai had to say
“Since the last three months, I have been following up with the contractor and he has been assuring me that work is going on full speed and now grass work is being undertaken. However, today I was shocked to see wild vegetation grown on ground area
As a result, Mr. Paliencar says he has asked the director to issue a show cause notice to the same contractor.
“When the contractor does not complete the task assigned to him on time and misguides officials he should be blacklisted,” said Mr. Paliencar.
What do you feel? Should there be more monitoring on the use of taxpayers money? Who will monitor the progress and quality of execution of such projects? Your thoughts on the issue are most welcome.