Deciphering the MoHUA tweets

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Deciphering the MoHUA tweets

Swapnil Bharali | September 01, 2018 18:20 hrs


I am not really surprised at the recent tweets of the union Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) classifying Guwahati, along with other NE regions, as unique in its geographical and demographic conditions. In fact, it could well have added the governmental and administrative uniqueness too. 

 

Development is all about construction usually and each component of the smart city development requires construction work to be done more or less. Given this fact, the tendency of the government to treat construction materials that mainly include stone chips, sand etc, as contraband and often consider its trade as illegal thereby pushing its prices up obviously derails any tendering process with contractors becoming wary of quoting rates. Today, it has become difficult for local contractors to quote firm rates when it comes to construction work simply because of the extreme uncertainty that seems to dog the material supply chain. There is simply no guarantee that quoted rates given at one point in time would remain firm until the completion of a particular work. To top this, government work contracts usually don’t have the cushion of a price escalation clause that could act as a buffer for a contractor should prices of materials go haywire during the course of the developmental work. 

 

The delays in the Smart City Mission were always inevitable and the tweets of the MoHUA are nothing short of amusing even as they are indicative of knowledge deficiency with regard to the northeast region and its “geographic and demographic conditions” on the part of the ministry. If I am to be sarcastic, it is part of our culture to be slow and deadlines are made to be missed. And terming availability of resources to be a huge challenge doesn’t alter the fact that successive state governments have done nothing to change the scenario whereby the ease-of-doing business index shows a sharp improvement. Resourceful companies from outside have been guilty of delays and missed deadlines and examples of the same are plenty. Remember the Gauhati High Court tunnel? Well, the Pune-based company that got the contract has again missed its deadline slated for today.

 

What the MoHUA tweets were intended for is beyond my comprehension but for the fact that the current dispensation just loves playing around on social media.

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