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Manipur cvil society to sue contractors

Five days after halting the work progress of the ongoing Halang-Paorei road construction under Part l of PMGSY Phase lX for allegedly flouting the norms, the Phungcham, Paorei, Peh, Varenglai Development Committee (PPPVDC), the four villages organizations in Ukhrul's Chingai block, has resolved to take recourse to legal proceedings against the concerned contractor and subcontractors.

The implementation of Part l work has clearly flouted the PMGSY guidelines on quality maintenance on top of being sluggish, said Ngasoching Zimik Chairman PPPVDC pointing to the work during a spot inspection of the committee along with social activists and media persons to the work site on Monday.

"Which is why we stopped the work to sort it out, but so far the concerned contractors have not heeded our plea," he said while stating that the committee was now ready to file legal suit against the concerned agency.

The work order for the part l Halang-Paorei road construction covering 12 kms under Package No. MNO 991/PMGSY-Phase lX was issued by the Manipur State Rural Roads Development Agency (MSRRDA) on 12 November 2014 in the name of one special class contractor Vareiyo VS. The time span allowed for the black topping work with a total tender amount of Rs. 4, 26, 35, 547 is 18 months, he said adding that: "but till date not even drainage and ring culverts have been taken up."

Briefing media persons, he said that the contractors have indulged in easy means and only used soft boulders unearthed from the roadside rather than procuring quality materials from elsewhere. "Apart from compromising quality, this way they have also dishonoured the villages by exploiting the villagers resources without their consent or knowledge."

Despite repeated appraisal to the concerned local MLA MK Preshow Shimray and MSRRDA authority who assured timely completion, the work has remained sluggish and still stuck in the first of the four stages of the road construction, Zimik said adding that the committee would soon apprise the matter to the the Union Ministry of Rural Development as well as the State Governor.

Even AE Maipak of MSRRDA inspected the site and took necessary measurements on November 16, but things have not changed, he lamented.

"This being the case, we decided to halt the work progress with effect from 16 December last," Zimik added.

In some portions of the stretch, the widths were found to be as narrow as 8 feet with steep side, while handful sized boulders were laid instead of granular stones, endangering travellers.

Jordan Pheiray, a social activist said the road is far from satisfaction and the way it was constructed amounted to criminal breach of trust on the part of contractors concerned thereby inviting legal proceedings. "We will do the needful to get the work done as the villagers wish."

Phungcham village chairman Shanreipam Horam has expressed vehement disappointment over the alleged apathy of the concerned MLA to the plight of the four villages due to deplorable road connectivity for years.

Meanwhile, Moon chairman of Peh village has said that the Paorei-Peh road construction under part ll  of the same phase is executing the work satisfactorily by one agency namely M/s K Morung & Sons. "We also appeal to the agency of part l to maintain the same quality, " he added.

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Lester Makang's picture

Ukhrul, Manipur

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