PWD, Maytas-Gayatri alarm over Longleng-Changtongya road
DIMAPUR, SEPTEMBER 20
THE silence on the condition and status of the dubious Special Accelerated Road Development Program-North East (SARDP-NE) in Nagaland is broken. Both the contracting company and the Nagaland government’s highway department have now begun passing the blame on each other concerning the status of the Longleng-Changtongya Road, Mon Tamlu-Merankong Road, Phek-Pfutsero Road and Zunheboto-Chakabama road under phase ‘A’ of the SARDP-NE. The controversial Maytas-Gayatri Joint Venture Ltd today issued a letter addressed to the Superintending Engineer of the Public Works Department (National Highways) saying that the company shall not work on the roads unless the department releases payment amounting to “huge amounts” to the firm.
The company’s letter was dated September 13, 2013 and signed by one Uday Bhaskar. Interestingly, for a “national” company with a profile as high as Maytas-Gayatri clout, there was no official designation or identification for the stated signatory.
Likewise, the National Highway division of Mokokchung’s PWD has issued a letter blaming the “contractor” of not ‘cooperating’ with the department in spite of “numerous directives” to maintain the Longleng-Changtongya road. The letter was appended by I Tiameren, executive engineer of the division, and addressed to the superintending engineer of the PWD. The letter was dated September 10, 2013.
A month ago Minister for Roads & Bridges Kuzholuzo Nienu had blamed the company for the deplorable road condition of the Longleng-Changtongya road.
The letter of Mokokchung’s National Highway division referred to “the contractor” as the apparent culprit responsible for the condition of the stated road.
In Executive Engineer I Tiameren’s letter to the PWD chief, he writes, “the contractor concerned on this road does not co-operate with the department despite of issuing numerous directives for keeping the road through since it is the lifeline for the Longleng headquarter and the adjoining villages in the district.”
According to the division, one deputy project manager was deputed by the company “for maintaining the road, but to our utter dismay he does not give attention to the inconveniences being face by the road commuters by citing various alibis.” Private taxi operators in Longleng have already served an ultimatum that they would stop their services by September 14 if the road is not repaired, the division stated. “And if this materializes, the consequences would even amount to law and order problems,” the letter stated.
The division has appealed to the state PWD authorities to consider the matter on “war footing” so that “the imminent awkwardness to be faced by our department is thwarted,” the PWD division’s letter to the state PWD’s authorities stated.
Maytas-Gayatri’s letter appears to be in response to the PWD. “We have communicated several times earlier that we are not in a position to continue the maintenance work unless we receive the payments from dept. Huge amounts are pending since more than a year and half. And our escalation bill is pending for 2.5 cr since last three months. In this scenario, no PM or DPM can do much,” the Maytas-Gayatri letter stated to the superintending engineer of PWD.
The company asserted that “we need cooperation from all quarters for maintenance of roads and for the sake of public convenience.” Even though the department is ‘not clearing the huge pending payments’, the company claimed, “we are trying our best to maintain the roads.” The company has requested the PWD to apply “maximum pressure” to release the ‘claimed pending payments.’
“Any delay in release of payments will put us in very difficult situation as mentioned in the ltr (sic) cited 1st. However, the department can take action as per clause no. 1 of Addl spl (sic) conditions of contract, page no 277,” the letter added.