Itanagar: The West Siang District Students’ Union (WSDSU) has threatened to approach the National Green Tribunal (NGT) or file public interest litigation (PIL) over the improper execution and undue delay in the construction of the Trans Arunachal Highway (TAH) from Nigmoi in West Siang to Pangin in Siang district under Package-9.
The Union in a representation submitted to Governor Brig (Retd) BD Mishra on Tuesday said that the project is being executed in the most unprofessional manner, violating all laid standard operating procedures and technical specifications.
The work order for the construction of the 37-km-long Trans Arunachal Highway was allotted to M/s SRK Private Limited in September 2020.
The WSDSU in its representation alleged, “despite repeated complaints and several meetings with the executing agency and district administration, no project manager and technical personnel like site engineer, surveyors have been deployed till date and the deployment of machineries like excavators, bulldozers, dumpers, etc. are also grossly under represented.”
The executing agency has also failed to establish a laboratory for soil testing while the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL) which is responsible for highway projects has turned a blind eye to all the violations of norms and guidelines, the Union said.
The WSDSU said although work has started in a snail-pace, however, unscientific earth-cutting and soil dumping have triggered landslides which are in turn posing greater threat to lives of the commuters.
The Union further alleged that M/s SRK Private Limited has sub-contracted the entire project to M/s Hill Trade Company (HTC) owned by a spouse of a former cabinet minister.
“The M/s HTC has in turn sub-let the project to at least eight odd firms and individuals with no credentials or capacity (man, material and machinery) to deliver such a big project,” the WSDSU said in its letter.
The Union said it has repeatedly voiced its concerns on the lapses in executing the project; however, it has always fallen in deaf ears.
We sat for meetings with all the stakeholders and the West Siang deputy commissioner on March 17 and 23 to break the impasse. Subsequently, we also met Chief Minister Pema Khandu on April 5 who also promised to find a solution. A few months later, the chief minister’s office informed us that they will write to the PWD (Highway) and Ministry of Road Transport and Highways seeking a status report but that will only delay the matter further, the Union said.
If the concerned agency is found not fit for the work already delayed, their contract should be terminated and the same should be transferred to an agency which is more capable and reliable, the union said, appealing to the governor to intervene in the matter.
Officials of the M/s SRK Private Limited could not be contacted for a comment.
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