KOHIMA, MARCH 17: The two-lane road project from Chakhabama to Zunheboto has once again come under the scanner of the Government after a financial scam, involving civil society organisation leaders, was detected.
The completion of this stretch of road has been pending for over a decade due to various reasons, from alleged fund misuse to extortion by armed groups, under-table cuts by people in power, snail’s pace of progress in executing the works by contractors, landowner problem etc.
After the alleged scam came to surface, Governor RN Ravi had recently visited the area and held a meeting with the stakeholders including contractors, district administration officials, public leaders and NGOs at Chozuba in Phek district.
Observing the people’s outrage over the ongoing centrally-sponsored roads in the State, Ravi is now intervening for early completion of projects. The Special Accelerated Road Development Programme (SARDP-Northeast) Chakhabama-Zunheboto two-lane road was awarded by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highway (MoRTH).
Sources said that payment for land compensation has been stopped after detection of false and bogus claim by some people. The contractors have also reportedly made payments to some such bogus groups and claimants, through the district administration.
Currently investigation is underway, including by the Lokayukta. According to sources, some NGO leaders are also involved in the scam.
On the other hand, there are some landowners who have threatened to stop the construction if payments are not made. The ‘Aggrieved Landowners of the 2 Lane SARDP-NE Chakhabama-Zunheboto Road’ have reiterated their demand for action against alleged corruption to the tune of Rs 22.18 crore with regard to land compensation.
Apex organisations of Phek and Zunheboto districts have been asking for timely completion of the road.
Meanwhile, there are also reports of a sudden spurt of newly-constructed huts and houses along proposed National Highways in other parts of the State, in what appear to be attempts to avail damage compensation.
Images and videos are also being circulated on social media, attracting much disapproval and criticisms from cross sections of the citizenry.
The Union Government had, on March 14, 2018, approved road projects worth Rs 6,441.34 crore for Nagaland under Special Accelerated Road Development Programme in North East (SARDP-NE).
The MoRTH had approved the construction of 12 roads in Nagaland under SARDP-NE. The 25 km stretch of the Chakhabama-Zunheboto road is to be constructed in two lanes with hard shoulders under EPC mode. The project will cost about Rs 339.57 crore.
Again, two separate 25 km stretches of the same road will be constructed in two lanes at the respective costs of Rs 239.31 crore and Rs 285.68 crore. Besides, a 20 km stretch of the same road will be constructed in two lanes at a cost of about Rs 315.03 crore, besides another 20.534 km stretch for about Rs 240.64 crore.
The Union Ministry said that a 20 km stretch of the Merangkong-Tamlu-Mon road will be constructed in two lanes for Rs 215.12 crore, while a 19 km stretch of the same road will be constructed in two lanes at a cost of about Rs 272.88 crore.
Another 27.835 km stretch of this road will be constructed in two-lanes at a cost of about Rs 323.98 crore and an additional 20 km stretch for about Rs 215.79 crore, it said.
The other projects related to the 22.558 km stretch of the Pfutsero-Phek road will be constructed at a cost of Rs 282.98 crore. Another 20 km stretch of the same road to be constructed in two-lanes with hard shoulders under EPC mode will cost of about Rs 237.72 crore.
The other 20 km stretch of this road will be constructed in two-lanes will cost about Rs 251.97 crore.
(Page News Service)