Opp leader office responds on SRDP issue

Peren, June 6 (MExN): Office of the Leader of Opposition, Nagaland today responded to the statement of Hiareu, Secretary and Itwa, President of NDPP 7 Peren A/C, which claimed that “SRDP fund meant for development of Samziuram Village was never diverted, however, it was halted by the government in view of the fact that TR Zeliang had attempted to withdraw the fund by producing false completion certificate stating that 90% of the work done.”


A statement from Information & Publicity Wing, Leader of Opposition office questioned, “When fund has not been released to E.E (R&B), Peren Division, where is the question of attempting to withdraw the fund with 90% works Completion Certificate?”


It claimed that the previous government had approved 17 projects under Special Road Development Program (SRDP 2017-18) amounting to Rs. 15 crore, but the present PDA government after a cabinet meeting on March 13, 2018 decided to revise and replace the projects with 12 new projects and the funds already released were directed to be re-deposited and re-appropriated only to be released again against the 12 new projects.


“Instead of tagging along the pseudo-doctrine of their leaders blindly, they (NDPP Peren leaders) must recognize the fact that the approved project for repair and maintenance of road at Samziuram village amounting to Rs. 3 Crs, along with 16 others, was reviewed, re-appropriated and replaced by new works by the present PDA Government,” the statement read. Apart from Samziuram village, other projects in Peren district that were diverted included New HQ road improvement and Peren-Tening-Nsong Road improvement, it added.


With regard to the duo’s allegation that the image of Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio was being tarnished, the statement said, “…the direct involvement of the present Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio on the matter is crystal clear from his direction to the Minister, PWD on 14.03.2018 following which Minister, PWD endorsed the matter to Commissioner and Secretary, PWD that ‘administrative approval may be issued as per the direction of the CM’.”


It noted that subsequent to the direction mentioned above, Department of Work and Housing re-deposited the drawn amount into the government’s account by way of deduct expenditure to Head of Account on March 22, 2018.


On March 26, Finance department agreed to the proposal of release of Rs. 15 crore for development of 12 new projects under SRDP and accordingly issued drawing limit the same day vide No. 81 of 2017-18 under Demand No. 58, R&B for the 12 new projects amounting to Rs. 15 crore, according to the statement. The same day, Budget and Monitoring Cell of Finance Department issued the DDO drawing limit vide No. BUD/8-58/2017-18/HV/309 addressed to the Treasury Officer, Kohima (North), it added. “The matter was processed and accordingly drawing limit was issued with validity till 28.03.2018 with the Fund being kept in deposit at present.”


The office stated that SRDP fund was diverted, including fund for Samziuram, but the same could not be utilized till date because of the Stay Order originating out of P.I.L No. (K) 2018 filed at Kohima Bench of the Guwahati High Court. “However, despite the Court’s stay order, manipulated Work Orders have been issued which is contempt of Court’s order.”