Fund crunch delays completion of Police quarters at Shadipur

Report by: 
ROOPA LALL
Port Blair
27 Mar 2018

While the wait for a residential accommodation for government employees in the headquarter region of the UT Administration is getting longer and the General Administration Wing in the Secretariat getting swamped with allotment requests, shortage of funds with the frontrunner agency of developmental projects, Andaman Public Works Department, has become an impediment for completion of a residential project worth over Rs 7 crore. Located at Shadipur, around 48 type-2 quarter for personnel of the Andaman and Nicobar Police including work for development of site for Police Department was slated for completion in the year 2015. But three years on, the residential facilities have not been handed over to the Police Department owing to around 20 percent of unfinished works, as per information.
The Andaman Public Works Department, in the year 2013, awarded the project for construction of 48 nos. of Ty-II quarters at Shadipur to M/s Ravi Realcon Pvt. Ltd. Deadline for completion was set for the year 2015. The private agency carried out the work in full swing, but shortage of funds with the APWD and delay in payments forced the private agency to stop work after executing more than 80 percent of construction at the project site. Presently, almost all the quarters in the project site are awaiting finishing touches and almost ready to be handed over to the Police Department.
“The Port Blair South Division of APWD was carrying out the project with diligence, but due to insignificant fund allotment, the project suffered unwarranted delays. After completion of more than 80 percent of works, the agency was rendered helpless to go ahead with the construction due to severe fund crunch. In fact, inadequate allotment of fund to APWD derailed many of its major projects in other parts of these islands. The UT administration should have taken immediate steps to put APWD projects back on track by allocating funds for ongoing projects,” said some Shadipur residents.
Speaking to EOI, the Executive Engineer of Port Blair South Division, APWD, Mr Alex Varghese said that the department was forced to stop completion of the work due to shortage of funds. “Monetary dues of the private construction agency, which bagged the contract, has been settled recently and funds for the project received in the month of February this year. The pending works at the site is expected to commence soon and completed within a period of two to three months,” said the Executive Engineer.