ITANAGAR, Jul 2: The West Siang District Congress Committee (DCC) said it holds the state government and the executing agency responsible for the two recent accidents on the Likabali-Bam stretch of the under-construction two-lane national highway which claimed eight lives.
Questioning the slow progress of the work on the highway project between Likabali and Bam (Package 1 by JKM-KCL-JV, and Package 2 by TK Engineering Pvt Ltd) under the National Highway Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd, DCC president Marpin Basar said the accidents could have been averted if the government had monitored and supervised the construction work.
Addressing journalists at the press club here on Monday, Basar said he had consulted a retired government engineer, who he said pointed out that there was lack of safety measures on the stretch of the road.
“Such a large project requires a safety consultant to monitor the situation, and there should have been one when the area is currently in a vulnerable state,” he said.
“The state government and the construction agency should take responsibility and compensate the victims well,” Basar said, adding that the district administration concerned was equally responsible “for not keeping a check on the construction work.”
The DCC president also said he had written to the chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission on 25 May about the slow progress of the two-lane highway project.
The appointment date for Package 1 was 20 January, 2016, and its completion date is 18 January, 2019. For Package 2, the appointment date was 11 September, 2015, and its completion date is 9 September, 2018.
Stressing on the nearness of the completion dates, Basar presented documents which showed that the current physical progress achieved under Package 1 is 60.81%, while it is merely 23.14% percent under Package 2.
“The longer it takes the longer people of the district and nearby areas will have to suffer, especially in cases of emergencies, and risk taking the vulnerable road,” he said.
The DCC president also took on the issue of the tourist lodge in Tirbin, which was inaugurated by then chief minister Nabam Tuki on 25 May, 2012.
He claimed that the engineering wing of the tourism department, which was the executing agency, did not submit the project completion report to the competent authority even after over six years of its inauguration, and that the lodge is being operated through a private party.
“Without the completion report, the lodge cannot be given out on lease by the government. The revenue earned through the lodge is not going to the state exchequer. This is a gross violation of government norms,” Basar said, and sought an inquiry into the matter.
He claimed that one Tularam Sharma was running the lodge. However, Basar could not provide solid evidence whether Sharma was merely an employee or working at the behest of someone else.