Morung Express News
Kohima | December 7
The Gauhati High Court Kohima Bench today directed the Ministry of Road Transport & Housing (MoRTH), Government of India, and the Government of Nagaland (GoN) to resolve the issues related to land compensation on or before January 23, 2024.
Hearing a contempt petition related to the issue filed by the Chakhesang Public Organisation and three others, Justice Devashis Baruah noted that clarifications are required between MoRTH and the Nagaland Government and directed the duo to resolve them and "place the same by way of affidavits" on or before the next date of hearing, i.e., January 23.
Meanwhile, the Court noted the admission of the counsel representing State Chief Secretary that the State of Nagaland has duly received the amount of Rs 60, 94, 36,685 from MoRTH.
However, the counsel pointed out that due to a condition incorporated in the sanction given by MoRTH on October 27, 2023, that the amount would be recovered from the Agency Charges of the State PWD, a communication was issued on November 23 to the MoRTH Secretary requesting the Ministry to consider the observations put forth that the ‘State PWD would not be able to recover the said amount.’
Accordingly, the Court noted that certain clarifications are required and directed that a resolution be made before the next date of hearing. The State counsel also sought some accommodation for filing an affidavit-in-opposition to the contempt petition.
It must be noted here that the Office of the Deputy Chief Minister of Nagaland and Minister In-charge of Planning & Transformation and National Highway on November 26 stated that the State Government is corresponding with the "Ministry to exempt us and not let the State Government’s Agency Charges be deducted to recover for the compensation paid by the Ministry."
Meanwhile, notwithstanding the outcome of the court proceedings on December 7, the Phek District Maytas-Gayatri Damaged Victim Association (PDMGDVA) told The Morung Express that it would go ahead with its planned first phase of agitation on December 9 in the form of a 12-hour road blockade.
The blockade will be enforced from 6 am to 6 pm along the 2 Lane Chakhabama-Zunheboto Road under Chozuba Sub-Division from Sedzu Bridge (East) to Dzulhami jurisdiction bordering Zunheboto District (North) and the 2 Lane Pfutsero-Phek Road, from Rukizu Junction, Pfutsero (West) to Upper Khomi jurisdiction bordering Losami’s (East).
The Association (PDMGDVA) has cited non-commitment of the State Government to its 'unwavering demand' for the immediate release of compensation and further cautioned that the agitation would intensify in the second phase from December 11.