NH-2 Kohima-Mao project: 73.55% physical progress achieved, contractor informs HC

Ongoing construction is seen on the Kohima-Mao National Highway-2 road in this picture taken December 16, 2023. (Morung File Photo)

Morung Express News
Kohima | June 19

The contractor of the ongoing National Highway (NH)-2 road construction project from Kohima-Mao Gate has informed the Gauhati High Court Kohima Bench that 73.55% physical progress of work has been achieved as of June 18. 

This figure marks a slight increase from the 73.07% physical progress reported during last week's oral proceedings of the ongoing Public Interest Litigation (Suo Moto) case regarding the project.

Meanwhile, during the resumption of hearing on June 19, the counsel representing the contractor (M/S Fortune Groups) submitted before the Division Bench of Justice LS Jamir and Justice Nelson Sailo that carrying out bituminous concrete over certain areas of NH-2 could potentially turn them into accident-prone zones. 

Accordingly, the counsel urged the Bench to allow him to file an affidavit identifying these areas where accidents may occur post-bituminous concrete, citing potential issues related to Right of Way (RoW).

Meanwhile, in compliance with the Court's earlier directive, the Nagaland State respondents in the case submitted an additional affidavit addressing matters concerning the Kohima-Mao Gate road project. 

This included decisions related to compensation and land dues for the Kohima bypass portion, as brought on record by the Deputy Commissioner Kohima through an affidavit detailing a communication dated July 11, 2023, from the Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to the Chief Secretary, Government of Nagaland.

According to the communication, considering the current road traffic and the high cost associated with alternate connectivity to Manipur via Dimapur-Peren-Maram- Senapati-Imphal and Mahur-Tamenglong-Khongsang-Imphal roads, it was decided to reconstruct/rehabilitate the entire Kohima-Mao road stretch to a 2-Lane (7m carriageway) standard within the available Right of Way (ROW). 

Instructions were issued to the contractor in May 2022 to adhere to these standards without acquiring additional land, it added. 

During the oral proceedings on Wednesday, the Amicus Curiae of the PIL A Zhimomi also informed the Bench that the initial completion deadline of May 31 had lapsed. 

However, due to the contractor filing a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court, with the next hearing scheduled for July 30, concrete directions could not be issued. 

As a result, the Division Bench listed the matter for further hearing in four weeks.

As per Court’s record, the project's contract agreement was signed on October 7, 2020, with construction supposed to commence on October 20, 2020, and completion targeted for April 22, 2022. 

Due to delays in starting the groundwork, the Court took up the matter on Suo Moto on April 2, 2022.

Meanwhile, in response to issues raised by the Southern Angami Youth Organisation (SAYO), the Nagaland Government formed a "Fact-Finding Technical Team" headed by the Chief Engineer, PWD (NH) on June 15. 

The team's mandate includes examining whether construction aligns with the Detailed Project Report or contract agreement, evaluating work quality and safety, and investigating reasons behind project delays. 

The team is tasked to submit its report within three weeks of notification issuance.