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Lotha Hoho casts doubt over Wokha-Merapani road project

Accuses NHIDCL of awarding deal well below SoR

WOKHA, MARCH 4 (MExN): The Lotha Hoho (LH) has expressed doubt on an ongoing work to repair the Wokha-Merapani road terming it as another likely failure. The LH also accused the implementing agency – NHIDCL (National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited) of insincerity, while alleging the agency of awarding the work well below the Schedule of Rates (SoR).

The LH, in a press release, informed that it has already apprised the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways in this regard. The project – ‘Rehabilitation cum Up gradation works of Wokha – Merapani Highway’ project – according to the LH was awarded to one Lucknow-based company at 22% below the SoR.

This, it held, “will reduce the work amount by Rs.41.80 crore, which consequently will affect the overall quality of the work.” The total work is valued at Rs.

190cr for a road length of 60km. The LH as the representative of the eventual beneficiaries of the project “fail to understand the reason why the NHIDCL had awarded the contract at such an extremely low Rate,” it said in the release. It further pointed a perceived lack of accessibility to the NHIDCL’s offices at Tezpur and Sivasagar affecting coordination.

The issue of accessibility to the offices notwithstanding, the LH said that it visited the DGM at Sivasagar in November 2017 requesting “for compliance to specifications and to which the NHIDCL had agreed.” Despite agreeing and repeated requests for “consultative/coordination meeting” with the “beneficiary community’s Monitoring cum Vigilance committee,” the LH said that the NHIDCL has not been forthcoming. With regard to the progress of work, the LH alleged that it is not being supervised by any on site technical personnel. “(The work) is for Rehabilitation cum up gradation of the road to two lane with Carriageway of 7.00 meters for plain sector and 5.50 meters for hilly terrain…

But the contractor is yet to start the widening earthwork,” it alleged. While stating that the Lotha Hoho is not satisfied with the work progress, it stated that it has requested the MoRTH “to either depute Technical personnel from the Ministry to inspect the work or authorise the supervision of the work, by the existing R&B Division of Wokha.” “Lotha organisations are keen to extend all possible help and cooperation to the NHIDCL and the contractor for the satisfactory implementation and commissioning of the road project.” At the same time, it added that it will do its best to check any irregularity and “if necessary even seek legal recourse to achieve the desired objective.”

Pending the contention, it requested the MoRTH that no payment be made to the contractor “without physical verification to ascertain the actual work achievement at site.” Further, it added that “before any bill payment is made, to transfer the work to the charge of NHIDCL Nagaland office, at Dimapur, and authorize the Nagaland state PWD (R&B) to supervise the work, for better coordination.”


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