RWD comes under scanner over PMGSY road construction

[ Karyir Riba ]

ANINI, 24 Mar: Yet another PMGSY road construction project of the rural works department (RWD) has come under the scanner as villagers of Arzoo circle of Dibang Valley district have alleged that “the quality and quantity of the work done at Anini under the PMGSY project, and Package No AR0202016 Anelih block under Arzoo circle is questionable.”

They claim that the work on the road project, namely, ’73 Point to Hunli-Anini BRO road to Anileh in Dibang Valley district’, has not been performed in accordance with the DPR, has anomalies in construction activities, and is in violation of the PMGSY guidelines for road construction work.

Gopi Umbrey, a resident of the area, informed, “The road in question is a lifeline for the villagers of the area. If constructed properly, it could cater to generations to come. The villagers had objected to the manner in which the construction was being carried out since day one. However, the contractor did not pay any heed to the objections while totally violating the norms and guidelines of the construction work. This negligence on their part has made it dangerous for commuters as, with the onset of the rainy season, the poorly constructed road is going to be washed out and blocked. The blacktopping work done on parts of the road stretch has already been washed off and can even be removed with bare hands.”

Umbrey also alleged embezzlement and misappropriation of public fund. “Bill has been paid and withdrawn by the contractor, although the road is not complete and haphazardly constructed, as evident on the ground. The so-called PMGSY inspection team has also never visited to monitor the ground work, which is a clear indication that there is connivance with the department, officials and construction agencies in misappropriating and looting public money, taking undue advantage of the poor villagers’ rights and privileges,” he said.

According to Umbrey, information obtained through RTI application shows that there is a vast contrast/inconsistency between the DPR and the actual work done at the site of construction.

“The quality of the CC pavement, the pucca drain, the cross-drainage structure, the slab culvert and blacktopping has all been compromised with and are not as per DPR. Earth work for road formation, widening, length and height of formation cutting, have been compromised and are not as per DPR,” said Umbrey.

He added: “This is a clear case of corruption. A perusal of the DPR and other related documents shows that the DPR contains falsified or manipulated information, because the data herein is contradictory to the actual work being performed at the site of construction. The state quality monitoring and the national quality monitoring may have visited to inspect on the ground but there seems to be connivance with inspection team and department and construction agencies, as the ground reality is contradictory and objectionable.”

Umbrey has written a letter to the RWD (PMGSY) chief executing officer in Itanagar, requesting him to look into the matter and ensure that the project is completed as per the DPR. He added in his letter that, “in case the grievances go unheard, I will put his complaint before SIC and initiate PIL against the erring officials, department and agencies, for justice.”

Anini RWD EE Tanga Kena informed that action is being taken by the department in the matter. “We have stopped work on the project and have asked the contractor to rectify the faulty constructions. Henceforth, any work on the project will be done under the direction and supervision of the JE,” he said.

Kena denied the allegation of embezzlement and misappropriation of fund, and informed that “some payments of bills have been made but as of now, all payments in connection to the project have been stopped until the work is done as per specification.”