HC penalizes NH-2 Contractor Rs. 10 lakhs
DIMAPUR, DECEMBER 2: The Kohima Bench of Gauhati High Court has directed the contractor for construction and repairing of National Highway-2 to work on war footing to keep up the timelines as promised for completion of 14 kms between chainage 200+600 to 212+334 and 193+240 to 195+240 by March 2023.
The project for construction and repairing of the National Highway-2 under the project named “Upgradation of existing road to 2-Lane with Paved Shoulder” starting from Kohima to Mao from km 185.540 to Km 211.709 was initiated vide tender dated July 2, 2020. According to the contract agreement signed on October 7, 2020, the work should have started on October 20, 2020, and completed on April 22, 2022.
In a order issued on November 17, the Court has observed that the highway concerned, besides being a national highway, is a road used by the people who are settled along the same and for the last 4 to 5 years they have been compelled to work in the mud and sludge during the rainy season and literally made to eat dust in winter. “Therefore, apart from causing inconveniences it has also caused health hazards to the people. As such, the highway, instead of being a blessing to the people has almost turned into a curse for them”, it had observed.
The Court had also come down heavily against the contractor, saying it appears that the contractor has taken the Court for granted and has deliberately forgotten the commitments, promises and undertakings made before the Court and penalized the contractor Rs. 10 lakhs.
In today’s hearing, Managing Director, Fortune Group, Tapas Kumar Pathy appeared in person as directed by the Court in its order dated November 28, 2022, and tendered unqualified apology for not having been able to keep his commitments and promised to complete black-topping of 5 kms between chainage 187+600 to 193+240 within 10 days from today and to complete the work starting from Sub-Grade to BC on the 14 kms between chainage 200+600 to 212+334 and 193+240 to 195+240 by March, 2023.
It was also submitted by the contractor that Rs. 10 lakhs has been deposited in the account of the Court’s Registry as per the Court’s direction given in the order dated November 17, 2022.
In view of the submissions made by the parties, Justice Songkhupchung Serto and Justice Devashis Baruah directed the contractor to increase the workforce including the number of machineries and also to keep enough stock of the required materials so that the work progresses well and without any interruption.
The Court also directed the NHIDCL, the Authority Engineer to monitor properly and ensure that the contractor carries on with the work as per his promise.
Regarding the 2 kms, which is the responsibility of the State NPWD, the Court directed the State Additional AG to come with instructions as to when the work will be completed. Listing the matter again on December 13, 2022, the Court directed that on that day, everyone, including the contractors, to appear again with reports in the form of affidavit.
(Page News Service)