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Contractors & workers agitate against NHIDCL for non-release of pending bills in Phek

Nagaland News

KOHIMA, APRIL 15: Hundreds of contractors and staff working on Package-V of Kohima-Jessami 2-lane road today staged agitation while also threatening to close the road traffic from May 1, if their pending bills are not cleared.
The Package-V of the Kohima-Jessami 2-lane road project is from below Chizami to Lanye Bridge in Phek district and the official works had started in mid-2021, said A Movi, local project coordinator for Stroyproekt LLC OIA JV, which is executing the project.
Hundreds of angry mob including local contractors stormed the site office of Stroyproekt LLC OIA JV demanding release of the pending amount of Rs 19 crore of the contractual works done by the local contractors who have been sub-let the works and also wages of about 120 employees of the company, he said.
The local contractors were agitated when they were informed by some officials of NHIDCL that the job was terminated on account of slow progress as the project employs 90% of the local population, he said.
Nonetheless, Movi said that with the agitators threatening to destroy the machineries, General Manager of Stroyproekt LLC OIA JV Kishore Vaishnav informed local MLA of 19-Phek Assembly Constituency, Kuzholuzo Nienu who rushed to the spot, intervened and consoled the mob.
Nienu has assured them that he would further discuss the matter with the NHIDCL officials by Monday and if needed, he would involve the officials in Delhi, Movi said.
Meanwhile, Nienu has requested the local contractors and workers to maintain peace and not to resort to violence for now.
However, Movi said the agitators, though have accepted the request of the local MLA, have declared to block the road with effect from May 1, which will disrupt traffic to Meluri and adjacent road packages if their pending bills were not paid and if they were not allowed to continue their works.
He also informed that following the sudden termination of the project by NHIDCL, the contractors filed a writ petition in the Gauhati High Court (GHC) Kohima Bench.
An NHIDCL official said that there are no pending bills under Package-V and that the Corporation terminated the package on March 15 due to slow progress and delay of the work.
The GHC Kohima Bench on April 3 directed NHIDCL not to open the bids, if any, submitted by the bidder vide ‘Notice Inviting Bids’ dated February 27, 2023, without the leave of the court and also not to encash the bank guarantee till the next returnable date.
The Court had directed the NHIDCL to respond within four week from the date of passing the order.
(Page News Service)