Implement highway project only as per DPR: LH, landowners

DIMAPUR, SEP 13 (NPN) | Publish Date: 9/13/2020 12:30:55 PM IST

Affected landowners, Lotha Hoho (LH) and frontal organisations have unanimously resolved to adhere to the stand of the hoho to allow national highway (NH) project through Wokha town only as per the original sanctioned detailed project report (DPR) and specifications.

According to a press release issued by LH vice-chairman Mhonlumo Odyuo and joint secretary Yihamo Patton, this was necessitated as some intermediate authorities of Nagaland are proposing to forego payment of compensation to owners of affected land and standing structures and follow the existing carriageway.

In a meeting held at Wokha on Saturday to deliberate on various aspects of the NH project from 72.40 km to 83 km, the affected landowners, LH and frontal organisations said the people of Wokha understood that if widening as per NH specifications was not done this time, then the widening work would never be done. They recalled that NH authorities had in 2017-18 carried out detailed measurements of affected land and standing structures, based on which the DPR was prepared. 

The affected owners of land and standing structures had all agreed to give way for the project, if they were paid compensation. And accordingly, no objection certificates were issued by the affected property owners. 

LH was involved in the process of co ordination and the process of land acquisition, while the DPR, based on the detailed survey and assessment of cost of various affected properties, was prepared and sanction accorded by Union ministry of road transport & highways (MoRTH). Although officially not confirmed (the process of confirmation underway), the component for compensation was reportedly Rs 63 crore. 

However, the organisations alleged that the intermediate NH authorities of Nagaland were now trying to forego the payment of compensation on the plea that the amount was too high and would affect other work components. 

But mentioning that Rs 63 crore was a drop in the mighty ocean for National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and MoRTH, and pointing out that different work components were listed separately, the hoho said the question of payment of compensation affecting other work did not arise. 

The meeting termed NHAI’s intention of manipulating the sanctioned project as discriminatory for the people of Wokha.  

The road widening project from 40 km to 72.40 km was also delayed for more than a decade and the NHAI remained least bothered to revive the project until LH and Rengma Hoho took up the matter in 2015-16. Hence, the meeting wanted to know why this frequent discrimination against Wokha district. 

The meeting unanimously resolved that the road project would be allowed to be implemented only as per NH specifications, by paying the sanctioned compensation to owners of affected land and standing structures, full widening, etc. 

The meeting also assured that LH and the people of Wokha, including the affected owners of land and standing structures, would extend full co operation to the department concerned and the contractor so as to enable smooth implementation of the project and as per specifications. 

If however, the authorities concerned do not follow the specifications, the organisation warned that in case of any problem arising out of the project, NHAI, Nagaland would be held solely responsible. 


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