State

Gov cracks the whip on armed groups hampering road works

Gov cracks the whip on armed groups hampering road works
R.N. Ravi (File)
DIMAPUR, JAN 11 (NPN) | Publish Date: 1/11/2020 11:07:40 AM IST

Taking serious note of rampant extortion by various armed factions, severely jeopardising the progress of road construction works in Nagaland, Nagaland Governor, R.N. Ravi has directed the DGP Nagaland and IG Assam Rifles (North) to take the most stringent actions against such elements and their patrons. 

During the review meeting held on Saturday at Police complex Chümoukedima along with senior officials and contractors including NHIDCL officials, Governor expressed shock that the anti-social elements had a free run hampering developmental projects.

In order tackle such anti-social elements, Governor has directed DGP to set up an SIT (Special Investigation Team) for registration and focussed investigation of all cases against such elements. He also directed DGP to constitute a “Highway Construction Protection Force” to firmly deal with such elements and provide security to road construction personnel.

A Raj Bhavan communiqué stated that Ravi, who has always prioritized road sector, has been regularly monitoring the progress of Dimapur-Kohima four-lane project. Accordingly, the Governor reviewed the progress of construction of all the roads being built/upgraded under Central Government Schemes or Centrally Sponsored Schemes. Projects reviewed included 14 packages of 845.745 KMs being built by NHIDCL and 4 projects of 132.59 KMS funded by NEC being built by State Government. 

At the meeting, it was made known that one of the main reason for the slow progress and compromised quality was rampant extortions by anti-social elements, purportedly belonging to underground armed organisations. 

It said that the contractors narrated their harrowing experiences as to how they were being threatened on a day to day basis for more and more ransom money and their officials including project managers being abducted for days together. They also disclosed how some of the engineers had to run away and never to return fearing for their safety and security. This has caused inordinate delay in completion of the projects. The Governor also decided to hold monthly review meeting to monitor progress and security of road projects.

The meeting was attended by chief secretary, DGP, addl. CS, Home commissioner, commissioner & secretary Works & Housing, engineer-in-chief and chief engineer besides senior officials of NHIDCL and contractors.

Ravi holds consultation with CSOs: Governor, Ravi also held a consultative meeting with the Dimapur based civil society organizations (CSOs) where various issues concerning the citizens of Dimapur were discussed.

A leader who attended the meeting, on condition of anonymity, said that the civil groups expressed concern over rampant extortion that has been taking place in the commercial hub.

“When governor Ravi asked whether there was any improvement regarding extortion menace, the leaders flatly said ‘No’, to which Ravi expressed his concern,” the leader stated.

Besides other issues, the leaders demanded the revocation of lessee system of the Municipal Affairs department, which has adversely affected the business community.

A businessman who also attended the meeting pointed out that “when businessmen are regularly paying GST, SGST etc. why are we being charged extra tax upon entering Nagaland.”

On the other hand, those present at the meeting urged the Governor for introduction of the Goonda Act.

Goonda Act is a special law enacted with the intention of curbing the menace of ‘Organized Crime’ or ‘Criminal Syndicate’ or ‘Underworld Gangs’.

Various states in India have enacted a special legislation to deal with Organized Gangs and mafia syndicates.

 

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