Spar over battle weary State roads
DIMAPUR, AUGUST 19
THE Congress today reacted to the a statement by R&B Minister Kuzholuzo (Azo) Neinu that Nagaland was a victim of the SARDP-NE Project.
In a press release the NPCC said this is an attempt by Azo to evade the truth behind the abandonment of road widening project by M/s Gayatri-Maytas JV firm on the deteriorating conditions of state road , blaming heavy monsoons and asking people not to be confused. They alleged that this portrays the confused mind of the Minister when it comes to addressing the challenge of deplorable road conditions across the State.At the outset, the statement said the Minister needs to be reminded that the State road conditions have deteriorated at an alarming pace during the past decade of NPF led DAN govt with no signs of improvement.
The release said that the Central govt had floated a global tender to undertake two-laning of Chakhabama-Zunheboto (118 km), Pfutsero-Phek (74 km), Mon-Tamlu-Merangkong (105 km) and Changtongya-Longleng (32 km) amounting to 1296 crore. Work was allotted to Gayatri-Maytas JV on successful bidding and the state PWD (R&B) department was made the implementing agency. However, the mischief of the R&B department is evident when it allowed the Contracting firm to haphazardly start mass excavation of soil at different locations without adhering to DPR guidelines under its supervision.
The release alleged that the state govt had released a total of 540 crore to Gayatri-Maytas JV even without a single km stretch of completed road. Moreover, when the formation cutting was yet to be completed, the State govt prepared a revised estimate of Rs 2978.20 crore which was two and half times over the original approved amount of 1296 cr. This abnormal increase of revised estimate had sounded alarm bells in the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH).
Since enquiry was ordered into this abnormal increase, all payments were stopped henceforth and the contractor abandoned the works leaving the people of four districts to face the brunt of deplorable road conditions arising out of haphazard excavation for the past two monsoons, the release said.
Finally the NPCC statement said that instead of blaming the centre for sending Gayatri-Maytas JV for execution of works which was abandoned, the Minister, if he is really serious, should pull up the Gayatri-Maytas JV firm and fix responsibility for abandoning road widening works, so that the real truth which led to abandonment of works will be unearthed. The release also questioned the Minister asking the centre for handing over the SARDP-NE road projects to the state govt, since it is unable to even maintain the existing roads.