Wazeho Cement Plant killed by corruption: RPP

DIMAPUR, DECEMBER 2 (MExN): The ruling Neiphiu Rio-led government in Nagaland has come under further corruption allegations from the Rising People’s Party (RPP). The RPP, on December 2, held “some politicians of the present ruling government” accountable for the death of the Wazeho Cement Plant in Meluri, Phek. 

In a press statement, it alleged that the 50 TPD (Tonnes Per Day) plant was running smoothly from 1992-2003, but stopped running subsequent to a government decsion to upgrade it to 100 TPD with machineries from one Saboo Engineering Pvt Ltd. 

“Despite the protests of NSMDC (Nagaland State Mineral Development Corporation) officials that the Saboo machines were of inferior quality, the state government overruled the protest of the experts,” it said. 

It said that the party has reason to believe that kickback and “some politicians of the present ruling government were involved in that fateful decision taken in 2003-04.”

As per the RPP, the process to install the machines was started in 2004 to complete in 2008, only to break down after one month.

Stating the party will push for a court of enquiry, it further hit out at the present NSMDC Chairman for proposing to privatise the plant.  It recalled the NLA Committee on Public Undertakings, in 2020-21, recommending against privatising the cement plant. 

It added, “According to sources, the plant can be revived after an infusion of Rs. 20-30 Cr. If the present NDPP-BJP coalition can freely give 120 Cr and 23 JCBs (worth 36 Lakhs each) to all the 60 MLAs – just like distributing peanuts, what is Rs. 30 Cr?”   

While stating that the two-lane connectivity to Burma via Wazeho and Avangkhu ITC is nearing completion, it said that if the cement factory is revived, the Meluri sub-division will become the richest, per capita, in the state.