Ravi orders SIT probe into road project hurdles
Dimapur, Jan. 11 (EMN): Governor RN Ravi has directed security forces in Nagaland, including the state’s police as well as the Assam Rifles, to “take most stringent actions” against anti-social elements said to be “severely jeopardising the progress of roads in Nagaland”.
The Raj Bhavan issued a press release on Saturday informing that Ravi had reviewed the “status and progress of construction of all the roads being built/upgraded under central government schemes or centrally sponsored schemes” in Nagaland as roads are of “a priority area of concern.”
“The chief secretary, director general of police, addl. chief secretary, home commissioner, commissioner and secretary, works and housing; engineer-in-chief and chief engineer, Nagaland were present besides senior officials of NHIDCL and contractors.
“Projects reviewed included 14 packages of 845.745 km being built by NHIDCL and four projects of 132.59 km funded by NEC being built by state government. It was revealed that a significant reason for slow progress and compromised quality was rampant extortions by anti-social elements purportedly belonging to underground armed organisations. Contractors narrated their harrowing experiences how, they are being threatened on a day to day basis for more and more ransom money and their officials including project managers being abducted for days together. How some of the Engineers have run away not to return to save their lives causing unacceptable delay in completion of the projects,” it stated.
According to Ravi, it was shocking “how the anti-social criminal elements of over half-a-dozen groups are severely jeopardising the progress of roads in Nagaland”.
Against such a scenario, it stated, the governor has directed the Nagaland DGP to set up an SIT (Special Investigation Team) “for registration and focussed investigation of all cases against such elements”.
“He also directed DGP to constitute a Highway Construction Protection Force to firmly deal with such elements and provide security to road construction personnel. Governor decided to do monthly review of progress and security of road projects,” it informed.