Nagaland: Dimapur-Kohima NH 39 hit its first road block; works get suspended

Dimapur, June 16, 2017: The four laning of Dimapur-Kohima National Highway 39 has hit its first road block with all works suspended in one of the three sectors since June 15 afternoon following tax demands from a Naga underground group.

The four laning Dimapur-Kohima road works have been divided into three sectors, and two construction companies, M/s Ramky-ECI (JV) and M/s Gayatri have been allotted the works.

M/s Ramky-ECI (JV) was allotted works in two sectors – one sector of 14.94 kms at an estimated cost of Rs 387 crore while the other sector is 13.72 kms at an estimated cost of Rs 339.55 crore.  M/s Gyatri is working on the 14.21 kms sector at an estimated cost of Rs 340 crore. The total length of the three sectors is 42.87 kms at a total estimated cost of Rs 1066.55 core.

The affected sector due to the tax demand is the 14.94 kms sector (from Patkai Bridge to Medziphema). M/s Ramky-ECI (JV) had sub-let the earth cutting in this sector to the Nagaland Contractors’ & Suppliers’ Union (NCSU).

NCSU officials and workers overseeing the works at its base camp at Kukidolong here told newsmen that cadres of a Naga national group came to the work site near Ghaspani (Medziphema) town on Thursday afternoon and asked the workers to immediately stop all works. The cadres threatened to burn the machineries if the works were not stopped, they said.

NCSU officials tried to meet leaders of the concerned group on Thursday to settle the issue but failed to meet them, they said.

When contacted, NCSU president, Pele Khezhie told Nagaland Page over phone from Kohima that he is constantly in touch with the Naga outfit’s leaders to settle the issue at the earliest so that works can resume in earnest.

On the reason for the outfit’s diktat to stop the works, Pele was not forthcoming. However, when pressed if it could be demand for tax or money, the NCSU president admitted that there is some monetary issue, but refused to elaborate further.

Asked on how soon the works could start, Pele said the NCSU hopes to resume works from Saturday itself as stopping work is costing the NCSU around Rs 6-7 lakhs per day.

NCSU officials said the union has hired several vehicles and machineries on daily basis for the earth cutting works. The union had hired Dumpers – 18, Fork line – 11, JCB – 4, Dozer – 2 and Roller – 2. Plus the union has around 80 people working in the site.

“Even if the works are stopped, we are contracted to pay the hiring charges of the vehicles and machineries, and also pay wages to all the people hired for the works. It is costing us heavily,” lamented the NCSU.

Source: Nagaland Page

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