ACAUT demands CBI probe into two-laning road project
Dimapur, November 30
The ACAUT Nagaland has demanded a CBI inquiry into the alleged multi-crore scandal in the two-laning road project to connect four districts and important towns of Nagaland under Special Accelerated Road Development Programme on North-East (SADP-NE). The road was to connect Longleng-Changtonya, Mon-Tamulu-Merangkong, Phek-Pfutsero, Zunheboto-Chekhabama with the total sanctioned amount of Rs 1296 crores.
In a release on Sunday, the ACAUT said since the project is being implemented and monitored by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) through National Highways (NH) and not by the Nagaland government, the government of India should immediately institute a CBI inquiry to go into the depth of whole scam.
It said the government of India undertook one of the most ambitious and people oriented development projects for two-laning of roads in Nagaland after it attained statehood. But the project has been marred with corruption, inefficiency, delays, manipulations and kick backs resulting in multi hundred crore scam since its inception with the tax payers money vanishing into thin air without any accountability and the roads left unattained at nature’s mercy.
The work was allotted to Maytas and Gayatri Joint Venture through Global Tender on February 4, 2011 to be completed by February 17, 2014. However, after an RTI filed in the month of October, 2014 by ACAUT to the Chief Engineer of National Highway Nagaland, it was furnished that only 20.18% of work has been completed, the release said.
Within a span of 14 months, the ACAUT said, the government of Nagaland in connivance with the firm submitted revised estimate completely ignoring the terms of works contract. The revised estimate submitted increased by 200% from Rs 1296 crore to whopping Rs 2978.20 crore which is more than Nagaland state annual plan.
It said the MORTH termed the revised estimate of “200% as shocking and noted the environmental hazard by cutting the huge mountains to justify demand of fund revisions…visible vast damage done to the natural resources”. The total insensitivity of the firm towards the environment by cutting the mountains and thousands of hectares of forest land without any environment clearance has the potential of destabilising the people living in those of their livelihood and ecological imbalances in the near future, the ACAUT felt.
It also stated that as per contract works order of MORTH that “on completion of 50% of work if the appraisal of the project shows that it will necessitate revision of the estimate based on physical completion of the project vis-a-vis financial expenditure”. Noting the huge escalation, the Financial Advisor to the MORTH described it as a “scam” in her notes on the file, it added.
MORTH in its letter dated 7.8.2014 stated that the firm has involved in “manipulative activities of how funds meant for SARDP Nagaland project were illegally diverted through manipulative methods”, the ACAUT said and added that the ministry also seriously noted that “the implication are serious as it seems efforts are being made to derail Government of India’s objective as a growing economic superpower and safeguard concerns of internal security”.
Subsequently, the Nagaland Contractors and Suppliers Union (NCSU) on many occasions had written to previous UPA government from Prime Minister to UPA chairperson to MORTH minister to intervene basing on the discrepancies, corruption and plight of the people in vain, the ACUT added.