Editorial

Prolonged misery

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 6/26/2019 12:15:58 PM IST

 It appears that the construction of the four-lane National Highway 29 from Dimapur to Kohima is running behind schedule, unless works are carried out on war footing, to meet the deadline. Contract work for construction of the four-lane highway (NH 29) was issued to two firms- M/s Ramky-ECI(JV) and M/s Gayatri Projects Ltd by the National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd in 2016. The work was initiated sometime during 2018 and was scheduled to be completed by early 2020. However, the 43-Km long four-lane project has witnessed tardy progress much to the consternation of motorists and residents living along the vicinity of the construction area. The factors for the tardy progress was revealed in a letter written by the Executive Director(P), RO-NE, NHIDCL to the Director(T), Headquarter NHIDCL New Delhi on June 18,2019. In the letter the ED(P) brought to the notice of the Director(P) that the firm-M/s Ramky-ECI(JV) from 138.775 Km to 152.490 Km, had failed to remedy various complaints through earlier ‘Cure Notice’ issued on April 24,2019. The list includes failure to remedy defaults such as –cracked/failure for newly laid Dense Bituminous Macadam (DBM), used as Binder course in thickness 50 to 100 mm and Bitumen content between 4 to 5 % approx; failure to implement Quality Assurance Plan and internal audit system at the site. The letter added that the firm “could not cure the defaults” and that its financial progress was only 67.48% instead of the desired progress of 95.96%.Further the firm had also failed to achieve 80% progress scheduled on February 3,2019. The above firm had reportedly assured the Minister of MoRTH to complete the work within 45 days between October 2018 and March 2019 but did not. The firm-M/s Ramky-ECI(JV) was also found to have failed to deploy the required heavy duty stone crusher, HMP plant within the stipulated time and which resulted in delay of work. What was most revealing was that, as per the letter, the ED(P) pointed out that the firm had been progressing only at 1.57 Km per month during the eight-month period from October 2018 to March 2019. This would mean that the entire work would take 18 working months (or three calendar years) to complete. In view of the above, the ED(P) recommended that termination of contract work to the firm as a way out. Earlier in the ‘Cure Notice’ issued on April 24,2019 the GM(Projects), NHIDCL, BO-Dimapur, had cautioned the firm to complete the remedy within 30 days but it was not done. Even the other firm-M/s Gayatri Projects Ltd., was issued a ‘Cure Notice’ on April 24,2019( 152.490 Km to 166.700 Km). In the notice, the firm was asked to complete construction of one major bridge including four minor bridges. However, the letter revealed, that the firm has so far constructed only one minor bridge and with no visible sign of activity for construction of other bridges. The firm was issued an ultimatum of 45 days to complete the scheduled work. With monsoon already set in, the project appears to be headed for delay and which means that motorists and travellers between Dimapur and Kohima will continue to experience extreme discomfort. This newspaper had commented that the Centre(MoRTH) has to immediately intervene to put an end to the prolonged misery.

 

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