Public Health Engineering (PHE) Minister Marcuise Marak has refuted claims that there are anomalies in the implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) projects, though he did accept that there have been delays in certain sectors due to various reasons at the local level.
Recently, former Rajabala MDC Sofior Rahman complained that the JJM is being used as a vehicle for corruption. He listed three examples where payments had been made to a contractor for around Rs 100 crore. Though the projects were nowhere near complete, work to connect village homes to piped water supply had been labelled as finished.
“Regarding that complaint, the work is going on in full swing,” Marak said. “There are no anomalies.”
Some of the local problems he admitted to included where tanks had to be constructed but where landowners were reluctant. In other cases, some organisations had opposed the laying of water pipes in certain areas.
“They wanted our work and some work was given to some of the parties and they allowed it. These are small issues that had cropped up and because of which the work got delayed,” Marak said, adding that the work is now in full swing and will be completed on time, that is by the end of March.
Rahman had called for Marak to visit the sites he specified in person to assess the supposed lack of progress. The minister, however, said that he has instructed officials in the department to do so.
“There is also continuous monitoring being done by the implementing officers and junior engineers plus other engineers at every level,” he added.