With expiry of the 15 December deadline with little signs of the contractor heeding the public demands for completion of the ongoing road repair works in the main town areas, Tangkhul Naga Long (TNL), along with four Longphangs (zonal bodies) of the district have mounted pressure on National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL) to initiate necessary actions against the contractor concerned.
Civil society leaders including TNL Vice President Tuisem Kamkara, Ato Longphang Chairman Dearson Chamroy and other executives apprised the officials of NHIDCL about the repeated failure of the contractor in meeting several deadlines and the poor quality of the construction works during a joint meeting held in the presence of media persons to deliberate on the matter at TNL office on Tuesday.
“We take this matter seriously. The contractor has continually deceived the public of the district despite our repeated appeal to him to complete the works in public interest,” Tuisem Kamkara said.
He then urged the NHIDCL official team to initiate necessary actions against the contractor concerned at the earliest.
According to Kamkara, the public could have taken up actions against the contractor. “But for now, we have faith in you to do the needful as the right authority to make him complete the works in the larger interest of the public,” he told the corporation team.
He added: “but if the contractor continues to ignore your instructions, then the public will be compelled to take their own course of actions as last resort.”
As per the sanction order, the restoration of NH-102A from Dungrei Junction to Lamlang Gate via Ukhrul town section is being executed by one Md Nasir Shah of Kairang Awang Leikai, Pangei, Imphal East as the contractor. The construction is supposed to cover a distance of km 11.60 at an estimated cost of Rs. 2,43,52,018.
“This is the third time, the contractor failed to heed our pleas for timely completion of the works in the town areas stretching 5 km because of the forthcoming Christmas,” Dearson Chamroy pointed out.
He said that even as the last deadline was in place, the work progress remained suspended in the last several days, giving one excuse after another for the halt.
Responding to the public demands, Ronik, manager NHIDCL assured to take up necessary actions after consulting with the corporation’s higher authorities.
“We will give necessary fresh instructions to the contractor at the earliest so as to ensure the ongoing work in town areas is done before the festival,” he said.
Commenting on the constructions, Ronik observed that quality being compromised in various portions has been found within the stretch of 2 km of the work done from Dungrei junction to Viewland out of the total length of 11.60 km.
“We see patches in many areas, lacking smoothness in laying pre-mix carpet. This could be due to defective machines, especially roller. It seems the defective machines have not been changed yet though we had earlier asked him to,” he said.
He further noted that seal coating was also yet to be done in the 2 km stretch.
At the same time, the public leaders also drew the attention of the state government to the sluggish pace of the construction works.
They also expressed resentment over the failure of the contractor Md Nasir Shah to report himself to the office of Tangkhul Naga Long on or before 12 December as requested by the civil societies.
It may be recalled that the district’s CSOs served the last ultimatum for completion of the work in town areas on December 7 last. Earlier, the contractor was served similar deadline for 25 November and 6 December respectively but could not be fulfilled.