The 3rd day of the 13th session of the 10 Manipur Legislative Assembly witnessed a huge ruckus as BJP MLAs Khumukcham Joykishan and Thongam Bishwajit staged a walk-out off the house while passing the demand for grants for Public Works Department as Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, who is also in-charge of Finance department failed to clarify on how work orders for two works along the National Highways have been issued without following CPWD works manual.
During the general discussion on supplementary demands for grants, BJP MLA Kh. Joykishan moved economy cut motion to the demands for grant for Public Works department on account of utilizing state funds for development of National Highways even though it is to be funded by Central Govt. Moreover, Joykishan bombarded with a series of questions regarding the works being taken up along the national highways before sanction for the works are being passed by the house.
Joykishan drew the attention of the Finance minister to clarify on how the 3.33 km long stretch of road in between Singjamei to Kakwa and between Manipur High Court to Newly constructed secretariat complex is being taken up without following the norms of CPWD works manual.
According to the CPWD works manual, to sanction a work order administrative approval (A/A) is needed first, to be followed by Expenditure Sanction (E/S) and then Technical Sanction (T/S) and after looking at the availability of funds the work order should be issued.
The state Public works department in its order had already stated that the CPWD works manual will be adopted.
While clarifying the matter, Okram Ibobi Singh, who is also in-charge of finance, said that the works had been allotted after giving administrative approval. Joykishan further enquired on how the department could give A/A when the said work has not been included in the budget.
“How could A/A can be given for the said work when the said works has not been passed in the supplementary question?”, Joykishan enquired.
The speaker of the house tried to scuttle the issue, but Joykishan insisted with his arguments and prayed to the house to stop passing the demand for grants of PWD until the matter is clarified to the satisfaction of everyone.
Later, the speaker allowed the leader of the house to move other demands for grants. When the demand for PWD was raised the BJP MLAs strongly opposed in passing it but as the speaker called for voice vote, Joykishan walked out of the house. He was accompanied by another BJP MLA Thongam Bishwajit.
Talking to reporters outside the house both the MLAs- Joykishan and Bishwajit said that they will not allow misleading false practice in the house.
Joykishan said that Rs. 7020.00 lakhs was passed as budget for PWD for the year 2015-16. In this amount, the said two works were not included and questioned how the state government could accord administrative approval.