Govt yet to sanction money for RLI operations

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IMPHAL, July 25: The state government is yet to sanction Rs. 50 lakhs to the Minor Irrigation Department for operating the River Lift Irrigation (RLI) Schemes in view of a drought-like situation in the state.

Earlier on July 23, the state cabinet resolved to make all RLI Schemes in the state functional in order to tackle the ‘drought’ situation in the state.

According to sources, a total of Rs. 49,98,821 will be required for the procurement of spare parts for diesel and electric water pumping sets under the head for running and maintenance of RLI Schemes under Minor Irrigation Department.

Out of the total Rs. 49,98,821, Rs. 15,85,520 will be utilized for procuring spare parts for diesel pump; Rs. 26,92,705 for purchasing 65,500 litres of HSD Oil (Diesel) and Rs. 3,75,000 for purchasing 1500 litres of Mobil Oil. There will be 3 percent contingency charge of Rs. 1,45,596.

When IFP contacted the state officials, commissioner of Minor Irrigation Department JC Ramthanga told that the state government has approved the amount and it has been submitted to Finance Department for financial concurrence. The amount will be sanctioned very soon and the department concerned will be instructed to carry on the irrigation works on war footing. 

However, IFP found that the file was lying at the table of one section officer and the official process for acquiring the financial concurrence is likely to be over by tomorrow.

Chief Engineer of Minor Irrigation Department, Moirangthem Shyambabu told IFP that the proposal for streamlining the RLI Schemes has been approved but the amount has not been sanctioned by the finance department.

Moreover, the department has procured diesel oil for about Rs. five lakh from five oil stations and mobil oil and spare parts of water pump sets from Steel Mart on credit. The total credit amount is about Rs. 15 lakhs, he noted.

The procured oil and spare parts have been disseminated to the RLI Schemes. Each scheme will be given 50 litres of diesel. The RLI Schemes will supply water to the fields for about 20 days, the Chief Engineer stated.

An official team of MI Department will leave Imphal tomorrow to purchase suction pipes and other spare parts of water pumps from Guwahati. The team will also procure 15 new pump sets out the 50 sets approved by the state government.

It may be mentioned that the drought-like situation of the state was reviewed many times by the state government even by setting up the cabinet sub-committee. However, the state cabinet only resolved to make all RLI Schemes functional in order to supply water to the dry paddy fields.

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