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Delay in completion of Jatinga –Haflong feeder road rued

From a Correspondent
Haflong, Jan 3: The much sought for Haflong – Jatinga feeder road or connecting road with the length of only 7.7 km from Haflong post office to Jatinga Tinali has raised many eyebrows due to the abnormal delay in completion and also the quality of works. The construction of this road, which connects Haflong with the NH 54 E at Jatinga, was awarded to Simplex Somdatt Builders Joint Venture in the year 2011 at an estimated cost of more than Rs 25 crore by the PWD Building and NH department. The completion period of the road was three years from the commencement of the works, i.e. from February, 2011.
Many organizations of Dima Hasao, including students staged dharna and demanded immediate completion of the road many times but still the road remained incomplete and developed numerous potholes causing untold sufferings for the commuters. Since the Simplex Somdatt Builders Joint Ventures was not responding to the people’s demand for the  completion of the road, the people of Dima Hasao had approached the then Deputy Commissioner Juri Phukan who compelled the company  to  carry on the construction works. As a result of this, the road was constructed but with substandard quality. The road though completed for namesake, developed hundreds of potholes within a few days of its construction.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Commissioner of Dima Hasao, Devojyoti Hazarika informed this correspondent that he had written to the higher-ups of the PWD Building and NH Department asking for the present status of the road but was yet to get a reply. Talking to this correspondent, Indrajit Bora, Executive Engineer, PWD Haflong Road Division, who is supervising the construction said, “Many times I had approached the authority for the withdrawal of Simplex Somdatt Builders JV Company since the company could not complete the works on time, so that the works could be allotted to another company.” Bora also said that realizing the sufferings of the people, the Haflong Road Division was repairing the potholes.
The people, who are the worst sufferers, opined that there must be some nexus between the officials of PWD Building and NH Department and the Simplex Somdatt Builders JV for which the NH Department could not take any action against Simplex Somdatt Builders JV despite people’s demand. They also argued how the department could make payment of around Rs  23 crore out of Rs 25 crore against such substandard construction work.