MAPUSA: The second phase of the new modern central jail at Colvale will miss its deadline of December 31 as 25 per cent of the construction work is still pending. With the deadline extended by four months, the second phase works are now expected to be complete by March 31, 2016.
According to sources, the delay in completion of the works is due to the pending bills of the contractor amounting to around Rs 9 crore.
The Colvale jail work has missed the deadline on earlier occasions too. The jail project which was started way back in 2006 was finally inaugurated on May 30 (Goa Statehood Day), this year. The jail work was only partially completed when it was inaugurated, with only the phase I ready.
The second phase of the jail includes the construction of chakra block, administrative block and other works. Officials along with the contractor recently took an account of the pending works and it is estimated that around 25 per cent of the phase II work is still incomplete. Sources claimed that the government is yet to clear an amount of Rs 9 crore due to the contractor. Of this Rs 9 crore, around Rs 5.6 crore is of the running account bill while around Rs 2.5 crore is the money to be paid to the contractor for the ongoing/completed work, an estimate of which is being prepared by the government authorities.
According to sources, the prison department has been entrusted with Rs 15 crore for the jail’s phase II works as per the allocated budget. Sources claimed that since January 2015, no amount has been paid to the contractor as a result of which the pace of work has slowed down, as the contractor is compelled to bear all the expenses.
Speaking to reporters, Gomes said, “The deadline has been extended. Earlier it was December 31 and now it has been revised to March 31 as the contractor claims that he needs four more months.” When asked why the bills have not been cleared, he said that he was not aware of the reason and added that whatever money had been allocated has been already provided by them. He said that even in case the bill has not been cleared, the contractor should continue with the work. Gomes said that the chakra and the administrative blocks are important and that the work should be taken up on priority. The contractor has also been instructed to undertake the construction of the main gate on priority keeping in view the security aspect.
The modern central jail project at Colvale is totally estimated to cost Rs 107.72 crore. The jail work has been divided into three phases covering an area of 2,25,043 square metres. Rs 72 crore has been spent on Phase I, which is complete and consists of three barracks of which two are used to house the 300 prisoners, staff quarters, kitchen and a 15-bedded hospital and dental unit. The jail also has the facility of a pharmacy and pathology lab. The Narcotics and Drugs Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) block is currently being used for activities of the prisoners wherein they carry out carpentry work, painting work, tailoring, art and craft.