Work on capital highway to resume in early Sep

Staff Reporter

ITANAGAR, Aug 21: Work on the much-delayed four-lane highway under Package A, from Chandranagar to the Donyi Polo prayer centre here, will resume from the first week of September, the TK Engineering & Consortium Pvt Ltd informed on Thursday.

The project was earlier scheduled to be completed by September 2020, as per the agreement.

Speaking to this daily, TK Engineering project manager Pranjal Hatimota said that the work’s progress suffered during the nationwide lockdown period as most of the labourers left the state because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Now movement has started and labourers are coming back to the state. They are presently going through the quarantine process. The first batch of 70 labourers has already undergone necessary quarantine, while quarantine for the second batch of 80 labourers is still going on,” the project manager informed.

Providing details about the current status of the four-lane work under Package A, Highways Executive Engineer Nani Tath informed this daily that TK Engineering has been granted extension of time to meet its obligation under the contract for another three to six months under the ministry of road transport & highways’ (MoRTH) urgent relief measure (Atmanirbhar Bharat relief) for contractors and developers of road sectors.

The MoRTH approved the relief measure after receiving representations from the construction industry in view of the prevailing Covid-19 situation, he said.

Highlighting the issues which had arisen during the nationwide lockdown, which led to the delay in completion of the project, Hatimota said that “transportation of labourers coming from outside the state had been stopped and issuing of inner line permits for them was also halted by the authorities.

These issues prompted us to apply for the six-month extension.”

The project manager said there were other issues, too, which delayed the project.

“We didn’t get the right of way (RoW) earlier, which led to a delay of three months. The first year-and-a-half was wasted on issues like compensation claims and litigations by the public. It was only after the intervention of Additional District Magistrate Talo Potom that many issues creating hindrance to the project were reduced,” he said.

Hatimota said TK Engineering has completed 72 percent of the work.

“If everything goes well, the rest of the work in Itanagar, excluding the underpass and bridges, will be completed within March 2021. From September first week, construction of drains will also resume. Moreover, there has been some delay in the underpass portion work near Bank Tinali here, which we are trying to resolve at the earliest,” he said.