THE ASSAM TRIBUNE – 26-11-2005
Shillong water and sanitation project completed
From Our Correspondent
SHILLONG, Nov 25 — The 6.3 million Australian dollar Shillong Water and Sanitation
Project (SWSP) of AUSAID has culminated after two years. The implementation agency
of the project was Kellogg, Brown and Roots Pty Ltd (KBR), a subsidiary company of
Part of the project included carrying out extensive surveys of Shillong. The surveys also
included Geographical Information System (GIS) mapping of Shillong city.
The fact that KBR also works for the Australian Defence department, has made defence
analysts here edgy. During a press conference, Program Manager of KBR, Peter Zoller,
admitted that his company was also ‗working for the Australian defence department‘.
Shillong and its vicinity house some of the most vital defence establishments of the
country. Notable amongst these, is the Eastern Air Command (EAC) headquarters and its
radar system which carries out surveillance of the skies in the entire eastern region.
Zoller on his part said that AUSAID would have exclusive rights of all works carried out
by his company. ―No maps or surveys carried out during SWSP will be misused,‖ assured
David Holly, Australian Deputy High Commissioner to India, during the press meet.
However, when queried, Zoller refused to divulge details as to how the 6.3 million
Australian dollars were spent.He stated ‗it was a commercial and confidential‘ tie
between his company and AUSAID, so further details cannot be given.
Zoller‘s deputy, Scott Gibbons, another official of KBR and team leader of SWSP
chipped in. ―It was a study project to review needs and develop models to address
problems of water and sanitation and we required numerous technicians, specialist to
carry out the work‖.
Ramesh Subramanian, Senior Program Officer, AUSAID was quick to point out: ―most
of specialists and technicians that were hired to carry out the surveys, were Indians‖.