Nagaland Oppn leader tells National Highway authority to clarify on 4-lane work
Kohima: Leader of opposition TR Zeliang, in a letter, addressed to the executive director of the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL) Manmohan Singh Deol, sought clarification on the ongoing Dimapur-Kohima 4-lane construction works.
Zeliang said that the Dimapur-Kohima Highway has turned from "bad to worse visibly due to the 4-lane road construction works". He said that no the two construction firms--M/s ECI Engineering & Construction corporation limited and M/s Gayatri Projects limited had taken no concrete measures to ease the enormous hardship faced by commuters. Both the State Government and the NHIDCL continue to remain mute spectators, he added.
As per the Contract Agreement, the two firms are contractually bound to maintain at its own cost the existing 2-lane of the Highway during the construction period. However, the Firms have failed to comply with the contract agreement, said Zeliang.
Large muddy puddles coupled with landslides and rock-falling occurs during summer and dense dust pollution during winter, the legislator highlighted. He further added that the NHIDCL must “immediately direct the Contractors to take up maintenance work as per the Contract Agreement or otherwise lease out such works to local Contractors so that the matter is addressed accordingly”.
“During the tenure of DAN-III Government, both the Firms had initially agreed to complete the 4-lane construction within 3 years i.e. 2017-18, 18-19 & 2019-20 and likewise, 3% bonus was committed by NHIDCL in the event the two Firms complete the work before schedule. In my presence, assurance was given by the two firms that they would complete the works before the specified period as per the Agreement and after completion of the 4-lane road as per the Agreement, the two firms would maintain the road for 4 years as per Sanction Order and Contract Agreement,” he said.
Even after three years have elapsed, he said that there is no sign of completing the work even by next year.
Expressing concern over the formation of large-scale potholes and sinkage, he asked the NHIDCL to immediately investigate whether the contractors are taking up works as per specification including use of certified quality stone-gravels.
As land compensations have also been cleared, he said that the pace at which the work is progressing calls for "urgent attention". He said that the NHIDCL must clarify its position on the matters raised and provide details of the agreement period, including reasons as to why punitive action has not been initiated against the two firms.
Despite the intervention of the governor and the High Court, he said that the contractors under the control of NHIDCL have failed to adhere to the pressure even from the highest office of the State including the Guwahati High Court, Kohima Bench.
"As such, if NHIDCL fails to pull up its socks even after this letter, the Opposition Party will be compelled to move for investigation by the CBI because the people of the State should no longer suffer due to default of the implementing agency and appointed Contractors," he concluded.