NSCN(IM) denies halting 4-lane highway project in Nagaland

The NSCN(IM) said while it was a fact that it was trying to ensure that work on the four-lane highway was executed according to specifications and quality was maintained, it was only because of heavy rains that the construction work was stopped on June 17.

Written by Samudra Gupta Kashyap | Guwahati | Updated: June 23, 2017 8:27 pm
Nagaland, Nagaland 4 lane, ACAUT, NSCN(IM), 4-lane highway project, four lane highway project, Guwahati, latest news, indian express Vehicles wade through water logging National Highway in Guwahati after heavy showers on 13 June 2017. (Source: PTI Photo)

Six days after a Nagaland NGO, Against Corruption and Unabated Taxation (ACAUT), had accused it of halting work on four-lane Dimapur-Kohima highway by demanding “tax” from the firms engaged in the work, the NSCN(IM) on Friday denied it and instead blamed ACAUT and some local contractors for the impasse.

The NSCN(IM) said while it was a fact that it was trying to ensure that work on the four-lane highway was executed according to specifications and quality was maintained, it was only because of heavy rains that the construction work was stopped on June 17. It claimed that work had resumed, however, officials of the firms engaged in the work were not available for comments.

“NSCN officials enquired from the engineers working in the fields as to why works were stopped and they responded that as it rained heavily they suspended the works on the previous day. Now by June 17 June, social media and print media has gone to the fullest directly pointing fingers at the NSCN blaming for halting works,” a statement issued by the NSCN(IM) said.

Even though NSCN(IM) blamed “unrecognised and un-mandated organisations” like ACAUT and a few individuals of “joining the bandwagon” against it, it also said in the statement, “The Governor of Nagaland PB Acharya was pressurised to such extent that he also rushed to Delhi and complained to the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh,” the NSCN(IM) statement said.

Read: ‘Tax’ demand stalls Nagaland 4-lane highway project; Governor tells Rajnath

The statement also said the NSCN(IM) on Wednesday “summoned” Nagaland Contractors & Suppliers Union (NCSU) president Pele Khezhie, during which the latter “admitted” using a leader of another NSCN faction “as his works supervisor”. It also said that the so-called misunderstanding related to the halting of works was purely an internal matter of the contractors’ body.

The NSCN(IM) however admitted that it has been “overseeing” all kinds of developmental projects in the state “to see that works are executed according to the specifications and quality is maintained for the good of the Naga people.”

“The ongoing construction of the 4-lane road between Dimapur and Kohima is no exception. From time to time the NSCN has been reminding ECI and MaytasGayatri (the construction firms) to ensure that work quality is maintained and the project completed within the stipulated time. They have also been strictly instructed that local labourers and workers are employed for the ongoing works,” the NSCN(IM) said.

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