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Rampant extortions severely jeopardising the progress of roads in Nagaland

(Under construction 4 lane road during the peak traffic hours| Photo: NagalandExpress)

Kohima, January 11 (NE): Hon’ble Governor, Nagaland, Shri R N Ravi reviews Dimapur-Kohima four laning project today, January 11, 2020. A press release from Governor PRO informed that the roads being a priority area of concern, the Governor has been regularly monitoring the status and progress of construction of all the roads being built/upgraded under Central Government Schemes or Centrally Sponsored Schemes.

The Chief Secretary, Director General of Police, Addl. Chief Secretary, Home Commissioner, Commissioner & Secretary, Works & Housing, Engineer-in-Chief and Chief Engineer, Nagaland were present besides senior officials of NHIDCL and Contractors. Projects reviewed included 14 packages of 845.745 KMs being built by NHIDCL and 4 projects of 132.59 KMS funded by NEC being built by State Government, stated the press release.

It was revealed that a significant reason for slow progress and compromised quality was rampant extortions by anti-social elements purportedly belonging to underground armed organisations. Contractors narrated their harrowing experiences how, they are being threatened on a day to day basis for more and more ransom money and their officials including project managers being abducted for days together. How some of the Engineers have run away not to return to save their lives causing unacceptable delay in completion of the projects.

It is indeed shocking how the anti-social criminal elements of over half-a-dozen groups are severely jeopardising the progress of roads in Nagaland, it added.

Hon’ble Governor took serious note of such criminal activities and directed the DGP and IG Assam Rifles to take the most stringent actions against such elements and their patrons. He directed DGP to set up an SIT (Special Investigation Team) for registration and focussed investigation of all cases against such elements. He also directed DGP to constitute a Highway Construction Protection Force to firmly deal with such elements and provide security to road construction personnel.

Governor also decided to do monthly review of progress and security of road projects, it added.