MMJRMC demands suspension of engineers for encouraging illegalities

Staff reporter

ITANAGAR, 5 Jul: Holding them responsible for the substandard construction work on the Mirem-Mikong-Jonai (MMJ) road in East Siang district, the MMJ Road Monitoring Committee (MMJRMC) has demanded that the chief minister immediately suspend the EE of the Pasighat PWD division and the AE and the JE of the Bilat PWD subdivision.

MMJRMC president Jacob Paron said in a press conference that EE Tani Taki, AE Mano Tayeng and JE B Prasad encouraged illegal and substandard works by blatantly misusing their power and positions.

He said that the MMJRMC submitted a representation to Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Monday, seeking immediate suspension of the officials.

Paron said unspecified and oversized boulders have been used or dumped on the existing road as sub-grade material, instead of soil, silt and sand.

“There is no embankment, formation width, earth work and sub-grade layers which should have been constructed as per the detailed project report,” he said.

“We made a number of appeals to the EE concerned to inspect the road construction activities to ensure that works are done as per the DPR and technical specification of the project. But each time, Taki denied any illegal construction work or technical errors by the contractor in the construction process,” said Jacob.

“Even after the DPR for the project was approved, the officers of the PWD continued to carry out the construction work illegally, without following the DPR and technical specification,” Paron said.

He said that an attempt was also made by the contractor and the PWD, headed by the same EE, to start the project work without a DPR (design and drawings), which was stopped because of timely intervention by the MMJRMC team in March.

“After that, the EE defended his illegal work, saying that the North East Road and Development Scheme had sanctioned Rs 15 crores as the first installment, out of the total of Rs 42.27 crores of the project cost, and requested to let him continue the work without a DPR in a general meeting,” Paron said.

He said that, “during the meeting, the EE repeatedly pleaded with the committee to let him continue the construction work and withdraw the sanctioned amount for time-bound completion of the MMJ road, which he said would be de-sanctioned and get deducted if not utilized before this financial year,” Paron said.

He also said that the committee had earlier lodged a complaint with the East Siang deputy commissioner, seeking her intervention in the matter, after which a team comprising the Pasighat West MLA, the PWD officials and members of the MMJRMC conducted spot verification of the road work.

The team instructed the EE and the PRO of the firm to re-scarify the over-sized boulders dumped as sub-grade materials immediately.

“Even after being instructed by the head of the spot verification team, the EE deliberately continued the irregularities, which were detected during a joint inspection conducted on 2 July,” he said.

Paron said that failure on the part of the government to meet the demand would “compel the MMJRMC to launch phase-wise indefinite democratic movements along with the public of Pasighat West constituency.”

FIR lodged

Our correspondent adds: The MMJRMC has filed an FIR with the SIC (vigilance) SP against Pasighat PWD Division EE Tani Taki, the AE and the JE of the Bilat PWD subdivision, and road construction firm M/s Puna Hinda over the alleged substandard work carried out on the MMJ road.

The committee said that unspecified and oversized boulders have been used for the construction of the road, without following the DPR, which led to poor quality construction.

The committee also accused the department concerned of failing to check the same.

In the FIR, it claimed that a bill amount of Rs 15 crores has already been paid to the contractor concerned without the work having been executed.

The committee requested for a thorough investigation into the matter to book all those involved in the irregularities.