4-lane issue: PDR asks ECI to come clean; resume work

DIMAPUR, SEP 1 (NPN) | Publish Date: 9/1/2018 1:04:04 PM IST

Following the recent controversy over the ongoing 4-lane road project (Dimapur-Kohima) reported in the media, People for Democratic Rights (PDR) has asked M/s ECI Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd. to come clean on the issue saying it has been misleading the press and eventually misleading the government and the public.

In a press note, PDR media & publicity affairs said ECI had initially said that the works were stopped due to alleged harassment of labourers, thefts etc. However, the next day, ECI’s business development coordinator, P.L. Rao clarified that the firm has harmonious relationship with all sections of public and that all of them were helping the firm in completing the work. 

The company also lauded the administration and police for tremendous support and guidance, PDR noted.

“If this is the case, then what is the reason behind the construction works being halted?,” PDR asked, while demanding ECI to come clean and respond to the public and government for reasons behind stopping the works.

It also cited reports that even before ECI had informed about the alleged harassment to labourers, some of the sub-contractors had already stopped works few months back due to non-payment of bill. 

The fact that the petrol pump had also stopped supply of fuel to the company due to non-payment of bills speaks a lot about the issue, it said. 

PDR said it was apprehensive of the ECI permanently abandoning the works citing alleged harassment of labourers and other local problems, while the main reason for stopping works pertained to non-payment of bills to the petrol pump and sub-contractors. 

Expressing concern that ECI may abandon the projects after drawing bill from the NHIDCL, PDR therefore appealed NHIDCL not to pay any bills unless it (ECI) resumes works to the satisfaction of the authorities.

Pointing out that the flip-flop stand of ECI pertaining to stoppage of works reflected an intention which was known only to the company, PDR cautioned ECI against playing with the dream project of the Naga people.

PDR also appealed to the state government and NHIDCL to intervene into the issue so that all construction works could be resumed immediately.

Since ECI had claimed that the firm was getting all support and cooperation from the public, administration and police, PDR asked ECI to clear all pending bills to the sub-contractors and the petrol pump so that works can be resumed. 

With such support from all sections of the society and authorities, PDR said there was no reason why construction works should be stopped. 

“A huge project like 4-lane from Dimapur to Kohima cannot be allowed to be hijacked by a firm which changes its statement again and again to fool the public and the authorities,” PDR stated.

Meanwhile, PDR cautioned all construction firms against use of sub-standard materials but to strictly comply with the laid down specifications. It also said that the existing road should be properly maintained and all construction works should be carried out taking care of environmental concerns so that the public do not suffer or face inconveniences owing to the works.

With regard to 4-lane from Purana Bazaar to Chumukedima, PDR said contractors were using sand gravel as foundation for the construction. 

PDR demanded to know whether usage of sand gravel as a foundation was permissible or as per the laid down specifications. Moreover, it said the work progress was at a snail’s pace and the public deserved faster development.


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