WSYF raises concerns over delayed Central Jail-Niuland Road Project

Chümoukedima, May 25 (MExN): The Western Sumi Youth Front (WSYF) today voiced serious concerns regarding the prolonged delay in completing the National Highway-29 road project stretching from Central Jail to Atu Ghoki, Hozukhe, Niuland (Dzubza) river. 

Despite receiving multiple extensions, it noted that the contractor has failed to complete the road project, adversely impacting the local economy and living conditions. 

Accordingly, it cautioned the contractor to complete the project at the earliest with quality workmanship and execute it following all the requisite guidelines of the DPR (Detailed Project Report). 

In case of failure, the WSYF added, it would resort to its own course of action to protect and safeguard the interests of the general public.

According to the youth front, the project work, "Improvement of road from NH 29, Central Jail to Dzubza river, Niuland (phase-II)," was awarded to M/S VIPE ENTERPRISE on March 16, 2022, at a contract price of Rs 2434.79 lakh (24.34 crore). 

As per the terms of the tender and the executed agreement, the road project was to be completed on or before April 15, 2023, it maintained. 

However, the contractor applied for an Extension of Time (EoT), and the office of the Chief Engineer, PWD(R&B) Government of Nagaland, extended the scheduled completion time to August 13, 2023, with strict directives to complete the work within the stipulated time and cautioned that no further extension of time would be entertained, it highlighted. 

Despite the extension, the project could not be completed, and as a result the contractor of the firm was summoned to the office of the Chief Engineer, PWD(R&B) on September 26, 2023, it added.

According to the WYSF, during the summoning, the contractor assured in the form of an undertaking that the work in all aspects and as per specifications would be completed by November 30, 2023. 

However, even after the second extension, the road project remains incomplete, and the work schedule is behind by more than a year, which clearly shows the lackadaisical attitude of the firm and the contractor, it alleged. 

The WSYF also undertook the inspection of the project on May 22, 2023, and the overall physical progress then stood at 94.54%, while the overall financial progress was 89.60%, it added.

The WSYF, meanwhile, stated that the said road serves as a lifeline for the people of Niuland District and adjoining Districts of Wokha, Tseminyu, and Kohima, and people have been eagerly waiting for the upgradation of the said road for several years.

However, the delay in completion has not only adversely impacted the economy of the vendors and entrepreneurs seriously but also the living conditions of the people living in the area, it added. 

Given its importance, concerns have been raised by various civil societies relating to the non-completion of the road project, and these concerns cannot be ignored or brushed aside and definitely merit consideration, the WYSF said.

Despite repeated directions to the concerned firm, the progress of the work is at a snail's pace, it added, directing the contractor to expedite and complete the work at the earliest. 

The project is far behind the scheduled timeline, and there are several critical tasks that need immediate attention to ensure timely completion, it added. 

As per the WSYF, the common interest of the people and the right of every law-abiding citizen to live a life of dignity cannot be hijacked by a few vested individuals, and it strongly urged the firm to ensure that all necessary resources, including personnel and equipment, are allocated to expedite the completion of the project. 

It also cautioned against compromising quality and raw materials used for the construction. It further noted that the Executive Engineer PWD(R&B) Dimapur Division has been directed to strictly monitor the project and submit weekly progress reports to the office of the Chief Engineer, PWD(R&B) Nagaland. 

In this connection, the WSYF urged the department to strictly carry out work inspections regularly and cautioned against the payment of the remaining balance without completion of the work project.