Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Org. shocked at local corp. ‘acting as government’

By EMN Updated: Oct 05, 2017 12:49 am

Demands investigation against NSMDC, Finance

Dimapur, Oct. 4 (EMN): The Nagaland Public Rights Awareness and Action Forum (NPRAAF) is ‘shocked’ at coming to know about the Nagaland State Mineral Resources Development Corporation Ltd (NSMDC) constructing roads and bridges ‘with requisite technical manpower’ and ‘100% increase in revised cost of bridges’ understood to have drawn the amount from the government treasury.
It is not a new thing for the Nagaland government to flout all rules in running the affairs of the state but the details from the NSMDC is ‘most shocking,’ the NPRAAF stated in a press release on Wednesday.
‘What has been revealed by the NSMDC that it had executed construction of roads and bridges having requisite technical manpower on being appointed as the implementing agency for the projects under NLCPR and the 100% increase in revised cost of bridges; and therefore understood to have drawn the amount from government treasury is most shocking,’ the group stated.
The organisation listed it first disbelief: The NSMDC is a corporation, an undertaking like the NIDC, KVIB, KVIC, Nagaland Handicrafts & Handloom Corporation Limited etc., which are not government departments. ‘Under what norms did the state government allow a non-governmental-departmental body to honour monetary claims directly from the government treasury?’ the press release queried.
The NPRAAF has demanded clarification about under which rule, state assembly resolution or cabinet decision that a corporation such as the NSMDC can directly claim “drawal authority” from the treasury.
‘Since the Geology & Mining department has clearly stated that it had nothing to do with sanction / drawal and implementation of the work for construction of road / bridge, the state government / FD is urged to clarify on this issue as to how a corporation was allowed to directly draw money from the government treasury.’
Secondly, the NPRAAF stated, the NSMDC had stated that it had requisite technical manpower to carry out construction of roads and bridges.
Of engineers and ‘class-x appeared’
However, a look at the corporation’s website showed that there are only 7 persons with Bachelor of Engineering specializing in mining, chemical, civil, metallurgy, mechanical, electrical and few diploma holders in CE, mining and mine surveying and B.Tech (ceramic), the press release stated. ‘There was one JE (civil) whose educational qualification was surprisingly only “appeared HSLC” at the time of appointment in 1978. Some of these employees are no more in service,’ the NPRAAF stated.
“It is quite absurd that the NSMDC claims to have requisite technical manpower to construct roads and bridges. How many competent technical people are there in NSMDC to handle such huge project and amount?” the organisation questioned.
Further, the organisation stated that the NSMDC had said that the construction of bridges over Chizuti River (24 m span) and Tizu River (100 m span) was at an estimated cost of Rs 20.54 crore which was enhanced to RS 41.26 crore following revision of the cost for Tizu bridge.
“Surprisingly, the revision showed an increase of more than 100% from the original initial estimate. Which department prepared the initial estimate that its revision had to be increased more than 100% and how was an approval for such an abnormal revision given?”
All these things are happening under the ‘very nose’ of the Finance department which “readily approves any project that lands on its table and accordingly releases funds,” the press release stated.
The NSMDC has been asked to clarify as to who approved the ‘anomalous’ cost revision and as to whether it was a secretary, minister or the state cabinet. Accordingly, It must substantiate it with documents, the NPRAAF stated.
“The Financial decision of the NSMDC is limited only below Rs.1.00 crore and any project above Rs.1.00 crore is to be approved by state government,” the organisation stated.
Vigilance investigation
Another charge that the organisation made was that the NSMDC had stated that the projects were under NLCPR; accordingly, the initial amount was withdrawn.
“If so, why was the revised estimate increase of 100% amounting Rs 20.72 crore was paid out of the public exchequer as additional fund and not from NLCPR?” the press release stated.
This matter calls for an inquiry by the state Vigilance or any other competent authority not only against NSMDC Ltd but the state Finance department too, the group stated.
“To whom should the credit be given for construction of the bridges – NLCPR or Nagaland Government? The Finance department is reminded to clarify on what it meant by State Plan (additional fund) and State Plan (RE) and under what head and nomenclature it is,” the statement added.
The Roads & Bridges department and the Finance department are also reminded to clarify on the construction of road from Pungwla to Jalukie, Dzumha bridge etc.

By EMN Updated: Oct 05, 2017 12:49:06 am