SAYO serves 15-day ultimatum on Kohima-Mao road project

The bridge between Viswema-Jakhama on NH-2 is seen this undated handout by SAYO. As per the organisation, the bridge is in critical condition and on the verge of collapsing. (Photo courtesy: SAYO)

The bridge between Viswema-Jakhama on NH-2 is seen this undated handout by SAYO. As per the organisation, the bridge is in critical condition and on the verge of collapsing. (Photo courtesy: SAYO)

Kohima, May 29 (MExN): The Southern Angami Youth Organisation (SAYO) today issued a 15-day ultimatum demanding immediate action to resolve multiple issues related to the ongoing construction and resurfacing work on National Highway (29/2) Kohima-Mao road. 

“Failure to do so will result in a total prohibition of any vehicle movement within the National Highway,” cautioned a press release issued by SAYO President Metekhrielie Mejura and General Secretary Metevizo Sophie.

According to the organization, despite repeated requests and appeals, the NHIDCL (National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited) and various authorities have failed to address the deteriorating condition of the road, which has become a serious safety hazard.

Among other concerns, it particularly expressed concern over what it termed as the “lack of accountability and transparency in the ongoing work.”

The NHIDCL has not followed the DPR (Detailed Project Report) norms, and the work has been carried out randomly, without any proper planning or supervision, resulting in dilapidation of the road again before the completion of the ongoing work, it maintained.

The highway is not only a lifeline for the Southern Angami area but also serves as a catalyst for trade and commerce between Manipur and Southeast Asian countries, it said.

Despite being a lifeline not only for the Southern Angami area but serving as a catalyst for trade and commerce between Manipur and Southeast Asian countries, the road has been neglected and in a deplorable condition, it added.
The SAYO also highlighted that the bridge between Viswema-Jakhama on NH-2 is in ‘critical’ condition and on ‘verge of collapsing,’ posing a serious threat to human life, security, and vehicle movement.

“The SAYO is demanding immediate action from the authorities to address this issue. We urge the NHIDCL and the authorities to take immediate measures to repair and maintain the road and the bridge,” it added.

Consider this matter with utmost urgency within the next 15 days, or face a complete ban on vehicle movement along the highway, with NHIDCL, concerned authorities, and contractors bearing responsibility for any resulting consequences, it added. 
Meanwhile, the SAYO requested the Governor, Chief Minister, and State Government Authorities to exercise their authorities and take appropriate measures to issue necessary directives against the NHIDCL and contractor.

Long delay &  PIL 
It must be noted here that the Gauhati High Court Kohima Bench is currently hearing a Public Interest Litigation (Suo Moto) on the Kohima-Mao road project citing, among others, the importance of the road as well as its poor condition.

As per the Court’s records, the contract agreement for the project was signed on October 7, 2020. The work should have started on October 20, 2020, and completed by April 22, 2022. However, as the work on the ground did not get started, the Court took up the matter on Suo Moto on April 2, 2022.

On March 27, 2024, the contractor reported a physical progress of 63.18% of the contract-work, while NHICDL reported around 62.12%. The next hearing is fixed on June 12.

As per the project status of work available on the NDHICL’s website, the “Likely Date of completion/ Actual Date of Completion” is given as May 31, 2024. It is likely to lapse.