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Water projects: Forum against consultants

Staff Reporter

"State Government has incurred huge additional expenditure"

MADURAI: The State Government has incurred huge additional expenditure for involving private consultants in the preparation of feasibility study for new drinking water and underground sewerage projects, the TWAD Board Workers' Federation has said.

Its State headquarters secretary, P.H.C.M. Gandhi, has asked the Government to drop its move to involve private consultants for investigating the technical feasibility of sewerage projects in urban local bodies. Sixteen divisions of Project Formulation wing of the Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage (TWAD) Board are functioning in the State exclusively to investigate the feasibility of new projects. "While the expertise and manpower in the Board are left jobless, why should the Government entrust the work to a private consultancy that is mostly run by retired engineers of the board," he posed.

"They just compile"

Mr. Gandhi alleged that the board officials provide all data available with them to the retired officials. "All that they do is just compile the data of the TWAD Board and do very less technical consultancy," he alleged.

The Government had to bear an additional expense of Rs. 5.35 crore for the underground sewerage scheme for Karur Municipality and Inam Karur town panchayat owing to "incorrect investigation and resultant estimation / design" done by a private consultant, Mr. Gandhi said.

Even in the case of Hogenakkal water supply and sanitation project, the consultant appointed for preparing detailed engineering works submitted the bid documents after a lapse of 48 months "in an incomplete shape though the Board had furnished field data (to it)," the federation vice-president K.K.N. Rajan said.

He also questioned as to why the private consultants should be paid exorbitant charges for doing "wrong investigations."

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