Committee lodges complaint against PWD, contractor over road work

[Litem Eshi Ori]

RUKSIN, 24 Jun: The monitoring committee of the Mirem-Mikong-Jonai (MMJ) PWD road, linking Ruksin headquarters with the greater Mirem-Bilat area in East Siang and parts of Lower Siang district, has drawn flak from the local people and public leaders.

The MMJ Road Monitoring Committee (MMJRMC), constituted by the public of this region to monitor the work, on Thursday lodged a complaint against the PWD and Puna Hinda firm for “construction defects and irregularities committed in MMJ road formation width, embankment, filling of un-sized boulders as sub-grade materials,” and called for re-scarifying the road from the Ruksin bridge to the Sille bridge (Niglok).

In a representation to the East Siang DC, the committee said that the MMJRMC team inspected the ongoing MMJ road construction site and found out several anomalies in the construction process.

“As specified under the DPR of MMJ road project, the formation width of the road is said to be 9 mts. However, in order to sustain the load bearing capacity and to maintain the 9 mtrs formation width of the road, the embankment width should be 12.85 mtrs as per the DPR,” it said.

“It is observed that the construction agency (contractor) and the PWD are restricting themselves within the ambit of 9 mtrs wide only (vertical fillings), neglecting the 12 metres width road formation and embankment. This needs urgent attention from your side to avoid imminent collapse of the road in near future,” it said in the representation to the DC.

“The work executed by the firm/contractor seems to be dealing with sub-grade portion of the road, bypassing embankment and formation layer of the road. Moreover, the said layer is constructed without excavation, earth works, earth fillings and proper compaction. Furthermore, the construction agency has dumped un-sized and unspecified materials (700-800 mm size boulders) to cover up the whole process, which in turn has created deep voids in the sub-grade layer and will eventually be the sole reason for potholes and cracks on the road,” the committee said.

The MMJRMC further accused the construction agency of not deploying standard machinery and equipments at the construction site. “For instance, CK-90 hydraulic excavator (Fokland) is specified for excavation and earth works, but instead short-arm back hoe loader (JCB) is being is being used, compromising the quality of work. On the other hand, after excavation and earth fillings in sub-grade layer, motor graders ought to be used for levelling the surface of the road, but here too, substandard machines like back hoe loader (JCB) is being used for levelling purposes,” it said, adding, however, that “not a single vehicle or machinery is deployed as submitted and stated in tender papers.”

“The tampering of evidences in RC books, fitness certificate of the vehicles and the frequent breakdowns of machineries have drastically slowed and hampered the progress of work. As a participant/bidder in tender process, the construction agency furnished seven site engineers with their details but the fact is, not a single certified engineer is employed at the construction site as per tender agreement, which amounts to submission of frivolous and unauthentic documents,” the committee said.

“One of the most important instruments in road construction is installation of laboratory equipments at the project site for soil testing, especially during the construction of sub-grade and sub-base layers of the road. The contractor randomly dumped riverbed materials without testing the moisture content, dry density and shrinkage limits of the soil, even in marshy tracks,” it alleged.

The MMJRMC urged the DC to take immediate action against the contractor and the executing agency “to re-scarify the erroneous construction processes, so as to avoid further damage in MMJ road construction, within a week’s time.”

It said it would file a public interest litigation against the officials of the PWD and the contractor if its demand is not met within seven days, adding that it would also resort to “phase-wise democratic movements at Ruksin check gate.”