DIMAPUR, SEPTEMBER 15: The Lotha Hoho (LH) has called for judicious utilization of Foothill Road fund so that the road is completed at the earliest for the common good of all concerned.
In a press release, LH chairman Mhondamo Ovung and general secretary S Abenthung Ngullie appreciated the State Government for providing fund for the Foot Hill Road, which is a lifeline for several districts of the State such as Dimapur, Wokha, Mokokchung, Longleng, Mon, while other districts like Zunheboto and Tuensang need this road for access to Dimapur, the commercial hub of the State.
LH said the State Government has provided Rs 10 crore for completion of the bridge over Doyang River at Liphanyan (Governor Camp), Wokha District, for which work order was issued 7 years ago (November 21, 2014). The work on the bridge was abandoned by the contractor M/s L Pukhato Shohe & Sons after receiving advance payment of Rs 18,49,73,074 during 2015-16, against the work order amount of Rs 2452.20 lakhs, which amounts to 75% of the total W/O amount, it said.
Informing that payment of 75% of the W/O amount was made for execution of only about 25% to 30% of the work, the LH said against this fraud the Hoho had filed an FIR on October 20, 2017 against the contractor and the concerned Executive Engineer. However, it said, the NFHRCC asked to resume the abandoned work before the police could take follow up action against the accused.
This is to say that the pending bill for the bridge is now Rs 6,02,46,926. Thus out of the State Government’s provision of Rs 10 crore a saving of Rs 3,97,53,074 is available for other works, it said.
According to LH, the contractor should not be paid any escalation since he deliberately abandoned the work after receiving undue bill payment. “He should have completed the work with the Rs.18.49 crore payment and only claim the final bill payment. The NFHRCC should ensure that the work is complete in all aspect by complying with all technical specifications. If any item of the bridge work fails untimely, the LH will revive the FIR against the contractor and the concerned Executive Engineer, who made advance payment. The bridge was targeted to have been commissioned on October 15, 2016, as per Work Order. Hence it is delayed by 5 years; but since the delay is due to deliberate mischief of the contractor he should not be paid any escalation,” it stated.
On the fund component of Rs 20 crore for other work items of the road, LH said the fund should be utilized judiciously so as to make the foothill pliable throughout. LH will be vigilant on the progress of work and fund utilization, it added.
(Page News Service)