Centre’s delay in giving funds stalling Ghatal Master Plan
The state Irrigation department is yet to get Rs 216 crore from the Centre for implementing various projects and the work of the Ghatal Master Plan cannot be started due to delay in releasing fund by the Modi government.
In reply to a question in Assembly, the state Irrigation minister Rajib Banerjee said: “The Centre had initially decided to give 75 per cent of the total project cost of Ghatal Master Plan while the state had to give the rest 25 per cent.
“Later, they communicated that they would be giving 50 per cent of the project cost and the state has to bear the rest. But they are yet to release any fund for the project and it resulting to the delay.”
He further told the Assembly that since the Centre is not releasing fund for various projects which were already completed, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee came forward to give money from the state’s exchequer so that the work didn’t get stopped in between.
For other projects of the irrigation department apart from Ghatal Master Plan, the state government will get around Rs 216 crore from the Centre. Out of the amount, the state government has already given Rs 118 crore in the current fiscal from its exchequer to keep projects continuing. But the Centre had to release the allotted fund for those projects.
“We have written to the Centre in this regard several times. But yet to get any reply from their end,” he said.
He said that implementation of Ghatal Master Plan would benefit thousands of people as flood will become a matter of the past in areas including Ghatal, Panskuram, Tamluk and Debra with completion of the project.
It is learnt that since the budget allocation for the Ministry of Water Resources is only 132.99 crore in the current fiscal, it is quite difficult for it to give fund for the projects. Thus the state Irrigation department is waiting for the next Budget session expecting that the allotment of fund for the concerned department would go up and the state would get some money.
As planned, the project cost of Ghatal Master Plan is Rs 1214.92 crore. Thus the Centre has to give around Rs 600 crore and accordingly to the plan the state would be getting the money in three years time.