Kohima | September 20
Nagaland’s chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and minister in-charge PWD (NH) today said that there was no Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Government of Nagaland and NHIDCL for maintenance of the existing road until the completion of the Dimapur–Kohima four- lane road.
Replying to a starred question put up by MLA Dr Chotisuh Sazo and MLA Kuzholuzo (Azo) Nienu on the status of the four-lane road project, Rio stated in a written reply that the road is being maintained by Maintenance Contractor at the Risk and Cost of EPC Contractor as per the provisions of Contract Agreement. The EPC contractor is responsible for the maintenance of the existing road, he added.
Queried about the total amount of the work order and the name of the contractor, Rio stated that the total amount of work order under 2(a) (Package-1) stands at Rs 387.00 crore and EPC contractor is M/s Ramky- ECI (JV).
The total amount of work order for 2(b) Package-11 stands at Rs 339.55 crore and the name of the EPC Contractor is M/s Ramky- ECI (JV), while the total amount of the work order for 2 (c) Package –III stands at Rs 111.19 crore. The EPC contractor in this case is M/s Oasis Projects Limited.
Rio stated that EPC Contractor in coordination with district administration is responsible for the maintenance of the vehicular traffic while the road is under construction.
Sazo demands maintenance of NH between Dimapur-Kohima
Raising supplementary questions on the floor of the House, Dr Sazo demanded assurance from the Leader of the House regarding the maintenance of the National Highway.
I expressed dismay that in many areas, the works on the four-lane road between Kohima and Dimapur has come to a standstill and there is no maintenance.
Dr Sazo also underlined that the road between Kohima-Viswema up to Khuzama has deteriorated and the road between Kohima and Piphema is going from bad to worse.
Many vehicles are breaking down on the road in the absence of proper vehicular traffic maintenance; he said, adding that many accidents, including loss of lives have been occurring along the stretch.
Dr Sazo requested the Leader of the House whether he can bring the EPC contractors to maintain the existing road in good condition as per the contract agreement made and also to assure the House whether he (Leader of the House) can bring the EPC Contractor and District Administration to maintain the road and regulate vehicular traffic.
Joint monitoring of Package III: Kronu
Also expressing concern over the work of Dimapur-Kohima four-lane road, Nagaland’s Planning & Coordination, Land Revenue and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Neiba Kronu said that the work of Package- 1 registered a progress of 96.76% and 97.28% for Package-II.
He however, expressed dismay over the progress of Package-III towards Kohima, which had given different reasons. “When package I and II can do, why not package III?” I inquired
“It is time that we have to monitor the project together,” he said adding that if the Leader of the House agrees, the monitoring cell of the Planning Department can monitor the project along the National Highway.
In the near future, we have to jointly verify the project, I maintained.
Also expressing deep concern over the bad road condition from Kohima till Mao gate, he said, “It is time for all of us to raise this issue,” and also see that the central projects are implemented properly.
EOT not granted for Package III: Azo
“This road (between Kohima – Dimapur) is an area of concern for each and every one of us,” said MLA and NPF Legislature Party leader Kuzholuzo (Azo) Nienu.
I said that the package I and II of the four-lane road is somehow going well because of the EOT (Extension of Time).
Stating that the EOT has not been granted yet to package III, he asked the reason for the same, while maintaining that work has come to a standstill because of it.
Convince the individual landowners: Rio
Thanking the members of the House for expressing their concern together, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said “It is a concern of everybody to have a good road.”
I said that four-lane road Dimapur-Kohima was announced by the then Prime Minister who visited Kohima in Nagaland in 2003, which was one of the first four-lane road projects in the north east.
“But until today, we are struggling,” he said and cited many reasons. One is the change of government which kept the project in cold storage, then requisition of land problem, landowners not willing to part with their lands and also demanding very high land compensation.
He said there are so many problems which had delayed the project and, “till now we don’t have a good road.”
Stating that collective responsibility is the need of the hour, he said that it is not only to do with criticizing the government of the day, but the people’s involvement. The people’s support and voicing of concerns together should be thoroughly discussed.
“On behalf of this House, let the civil societies, the NGOs, the contractors bring common problems and have a meeting outside the Assembly so that we give cooperation,” he said.
I said that government has a law to give right of way to any development activities which is in the interest of everybody.
Rio said that a lot of realization has to be done at the various levels- tribal hohos, groups and villages and should convince the so called individual land owners.
“We should not prevent or block the development of the state,” he said, adding “only then, a real development will come.