Morung Express News
Dimapur | November 6
The Dimapur-Chümoukedima 4-lane is reported to be on the verge of completion after overshooting the scheduled deadline by more than a year. An official of the firm, undertaking the project, told The Morung Express today that both lanes have been paved, including the drainage and divider.
The official informed that paving of the entire stretch was completed on September 20 and currently, “cosmetic works” were on to beautify the highway. “We are doing road furniture works like installing railings, road markings, signboards etcetera,” he said, while adding that around 8 percent of work was left to complete.
He added, “(As per the norm) official completion is declared when 80 percent of the work is done. Provisionally, it is completed. Unless we complete 100 percent, there will be no payment from the government.”
Queried by which date the firm is targeting 100 percent completion, he maintained that a date cannot be set but added that they would want to complete the “cosmetic works” by the end of November.
The official announcement will be made by the government when all the requisite paperwork gets done, he added.
The total length of the road from the New Field Checkpost to Chümoukedima runs 17.3km. Two segments of the total length involved improving the existing 2-lane from New Field Check Post to Purana Bazaar (ZHRC junction) running 2.9km. The other 2-lane segment starting from the NAPTC, Chümoukedima junction to Patkai Bridge stretches 1.5km. The 4-lane segment from Purana Bazaar to Chümoukedima runs a length of 12.9km.
The original completion deadline of the over Rs 500 cr project was September 2019 with March 2018 as the scheduled start. However, actual ground work began only in August 2018. The deadline was extended at least 3 times; the last extension was in May this year.
A number of local factors reportedly combined to delay completion, chief among which included tiffs with landowners over rainwater runoff from the highway, delayed relocation of utility poles, monsoons and the COVID-19 lockdown.
The official said, “The last deadline was May 18, 2020. It was extended to September 20 because of the COVID-19 restrictions.”
While the official maintained that work was carried as per the project quality specifications, cracks are already appearing on some sections of the cemented 4-lane portion.
The official, while admitting to the evident cracks, described it as “technical issues,” which will be dealt with as the firm is bound by a defect liability clause— contractual obligation to repair and maintain for a period of 4 years.
“If anything is there, it will be taken care of. No issue in that. Any defect is our liability. We will take care of that,” he assured.