In response to allegations of substandard work on the Chozuba town road construction project, the news of which went viral recently, prompting the local MLA Kudecho Khamo to intervene, the contractor of the said project issued a clarification on 15 May wherein he mentioned the names of two individuals who allegedly created “nuisance against the workforce by damaging the surfaces with vehicle keys on the pretext of quality checks.”

In a latest development to this, the two individuals named by the contractor have issued a “Counter Reply to the Rejoinder issued by Zakie Angami”.

“Following the incident that took place on 11 May 2024 and the rejoinder submitted by the contractor with false implications and accusations against us, the undersigned, is constrained to issue this clarification and counter reply to the public domain for judgment,” Vekuvoyi Lohe and Mutsekhoyi Lohe said in a joint statement.

The duo said that, on the morning of 11 May around 8:00 am, they approached the person in-charge regarding the poor quality of workmanship without any ulterior motives. However, on being approached, the in-charge (of the construction work) “rudely dismissed our complaints and started to hurl verbal abuses against us,” they said.

They claimed that he even went to the extent of saying, “I am the in-charge of this contract and as to how the work should be done, it is my wish.” He even challenged us to do what we can by saying “(Mota ase koile, ki kuribole paribo, kuribi (If you are a man, do what you can).”

The duo also said that, right after the incident, the youth bodies and the Junior Engineer reached the site for spot verification, the quality and workmanship of the construction “for which is best known to them and the public.”
Saying that the contractor also accused them of “creating nuisance against the workforce and damaging the surfaces of the road with the vehicle keys,” the duo stated that these were “blatant lies” and have no basis whatsoever.

“We never threatened nor created any nuisance for which the workers have to flee the site. It is evident in the videos and photos widely circulated on media, we never used any keys or metal objects to damage the surface,” they said.

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“As a concerned citizen of the colony and land owner of the particular stretch of road, it is our moral responsibility to raise our voices against the shoddy workmanship and, therefore, we never threatened anyone with anything nor have any ill intention towards anyone,” Vekuvoyi Lohe and Mutsekhoyi Lohe said.

Claiming that the contractor also went to the extent of mentioning the village they belong to, they said “this is not a village issue nor does this road falls under the village jurisdiction and hence, mentioning our village for this matter clearly reflects the desperation to raise conflict and create misunderstanding.”

They said their clarification was issued “to the best of our knowledge and for the public for judgment.”

Mokokchung Times

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