[ Nellie N Manpoong ]
ITANAGAR, Jan 21: Officials of the TK Engineering assured that the stretch of road from Chandranagar to the Donyi Polo prayer centre under the four-lane highway Package ‘A’ (Chandranagar to Papu Nallah) will be completed by March 2020.
Speaking to this daily during an inspection of the highway’s progress on Tuesday morning, TK Engineering Project Manager Pranjal Hatimota said, “We have set a target to complete black topping of the stretch from Chandranagar to the Donyi Polo prayer centre while working simultaneously on the rest of the road.”
He assured that the TK Engineering would complete the entire stretch of package ‘A’ as per the contract by September 2020, with the exception of bridges and underpasses.
The box culvert between the Shiv Mandir and the Dree ground is also scheduled to be completed by the first week of February and will be made open for vehicles by March after curing. The culvert will serve as an earth cushion to vehicles.
On whether the assurances would be fulfilled this time around, the project manager said, “there were a lot of hindrances earlier, which have reduced after Additional District Magistrate Talo Potom took charge as highway administrator,” and reiterated his assurance to complete the work according to the contract.
According to officials, the hindrances include physical and vocal assault on workers, compensation claims, and litigations on the right of way by the public.
Regarding reported fund constraints, Highways Executive Engineer Nani Tath clarified that there have been no such issues.
“We keep releasing funds as per the work progress. We cannot give them (construction agency) the bill unless they achieve a milestone of at least 10 percent construction. However, under certain conditions, we are trying to support them when they achieve five percent of the work. The work should not stop due to funds. If this momentum breaks before March, it will fail.”
One of the authority engineers, Santosh Kumar informed that there have been no fund constraints and about 60 per cent of the total Rs 196.16 crore has been utilised in phase ‘A’ till now.
This daily also questioned the possibility of an extension beyond September 2020 as is seen in most large-scale projects, to which the officials said “natural hindrances cannot be ruled out.”
Requesting the public to bear with the inconvenience, Joint Secretary to CM, Kangki Darang assured that the formation cutting and culverts up to Papu Nallah will be completed by March.
“There were a lot of unforeseen hindrances. The holiday season had slowed down the pace of work. Someone was seeking compensation amount of around Rs 2 crore for the area near the Dree ground and did not allow work to continue,” he said, while informing that the compensation matter was resolved after the intervention of ADM Potom and Capital Deputy Commissioner Komkar Dulom.
Potom assured that there are no further hindrances except the litigation in court regarding the structure near the bridge in Chandranagar.
Adding to it, Circle Officer Bittu Kri informed that the Chandranagar case is scheduled for hearing on 22 January.
“We are also trying to negotiate to find a middle ground. The court had also ordered us to form a committee to find the value of the asset, but the committee in its final report said that it did not conduct an assessment as it felt that the structure was built after a prohibitory order was passed for non-construction in 2014 when the Trans-Arunachal Highway work began.”
The officials maintained that nearly 70 percent of the work has been completed, and that the ADM, DC and engineers are taking daily updates on the work progress and submitting reports to the government.
[ Nellie N Manpoong ]