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Concern over �substandard� work on NH-54E connecting Jatinga, Harangajao

By Correspondent

HAFLONG, March 16 - The NC Hills Indigenous Students� Forum (NCHISF) has expressed serious concern over the �substandard� work on the Jatinga-Harangajao portion of the National Highway 54E and demanded an immediate halt in the ongoing work.

NCHISF president David Keivom along with several student members took stock of the work between Jatinga and Retzuol and found that both the blacktopping and construction of drains were of very low quality.

Talking to the media, Keivom said the NCHISF has been demanding a good road at least between Mahur and Harangajao, as the poor quality road has led to untold sufferings for the people for decades.

He said that after repeated approaches, the NHAI sanctioned an amount of Rs 54 crore for maintenance of this portion for two years and engaged Silchar-based Ratna Construction Company. But this company has sub-let the work to a local company, which was opposed by the NCHISF from the beginning.

He said that the NHAI Regional Officer had assured them that a committee including NCHISF members will be set up for monitoring the quality of work but till date, no such committee has been formed.

This was a conspiracy to allow this type of low-quality work following some �mutual understanding�, he alleged, adding that there was every possibility of a �nexus� between NHAI officials and the construction company.

Despite repeated complaints, the NHAI officials have remained silent over sub-letting of the work by the Ratna Construction Company, he said.

It may be mentioned here that the NH-54E portion from Nriambunglo to Harangajao � popularly known as the East-West Corridor � has been in deplorable condition for at least 15-20 years. The people of Dima Hasao region have been running from pillar to post demanding repair of that portion but have remained unheard so far.

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