[ Tom Simai ]
JAIRAMPUR, Dec 13: Jairampur Urban Development & Housing Department (UD&HD) Deputy Director, George Joseph, has termed “concocted” the allegation made recently by the Tangsa Youth Welfare Association (TYWA) regarding irregularities in the construction of the border haat project at Pangsau Pass.
Speaking to this correspondent, the deputy director on Wednesday explained that the total project cost is Rs 3.5 crore, and that only Rs 1.3 crore was allotted for earth cutting.
“Despite providing all the documents regarding the project, the association misread the data and issued a false and fabricated press release,” he said.
Moreover, the UD&HD cannot operate alone, he said. “The project comes under the DUDA’s urban local body, which is chaired by the Changlang deputy commissioner.”
He said Rs 1.5 crore was released after the work completion had been verified by GBs, panchayat members, the Nampong SDO, and the Jairampur ADC.
“The project site was also visited by a central team consisting of the special secretary (internal security) and the joint secretary (NE) from the Ministry of Home Affairs on 23 September, 2017. They expressed satisfaction with the work,” he said.
Joseph said the earth-cutting work has been completed as per the DPR guidelines, although initially the work was delayed because of security reasons as the Indo-Myanmar border was closed for nearly five months.
On the RTI issue, the deputy director clarified that the association filed RTI applications on three occasions and withdrew the second RTI application, “asking us to negotiate.” He said the department declined the offer. “They filed the third RTI application, and we provided all the relevant documents as per the RTI guidelines.”
The deputy director also expressed resentment against the biased reporting by a scribe who wrote the news without seeking the story of the other side.
“The scribe neither contacted my office nor my officers before publishing the allegation,” Joseph said, adding that the department had provided all the documents to the scribe.
According to multiple sources, the TYWA is a two-man association, led by its President Seng Longjung, and they have been issuing threats and filing RTI applications at various government departments for quick money.
“It is ludicrous that two men are looting the government agencies in the name of the Tangsa youths,’ one of the sources said.
In 2006, the TYWA had been involved in a lottery fraud and charged with criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, cheating and dishonesty, and forgery for the purpose of cheating cases.
A case (No 09/2006 U/S 120 B)/406/420/468 IPC) had been registered against the TYWA in August, 2006 at the Jairampur police station, and its executive members, including the current president, were arrested and put behind bars until they were released on bail in January 2007.
The panchayat members of Nampong and Rima-Putok circles have meanwhile asked the authorities to take severe action against associations that are involved in blackmailing, character assassination, and extortion.
[ Tom Simai ]