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Mokokchung, 2 December (MTNews): The Rising Peoples’ Party (RPP) alleged that the Wazeho Cement Plant, operating under Meluri sub-division, has been non-functional for the past 19 years, dating back to 2004, due to a decision by some present politicians to buy inferior quality machines. Revelations about this issue emerged during a recent tour conducted by the RPP in Meluri sub-division, including a visit to the Avangkhu International Trade Centre, as per a statement issued by RPP.

According to the RPP, from 1992-2003, the 50 TPD (Tonnes Per Day) Wazeho Cement Plant was running smoothly but faced a setback when the state government opted to upgrade it to 100 TPD, using machinery from Saboo Engineering Pvt Ltd. Despite objections from Nagaland State Mineral Development Corporation (NSMDC) officials, who raised concerns about the inferior quality of Saboo machines, the state government proceeded with the purchase, alleged the RPP.

The RPP maintained that certain politicians from the current ruling government played a role in the “fateful decision taken in 2003-04”, suspecting the possibility of “kickbacks or bribes” influencing the choice of substandard machines.

“In 2004, the inferior machines were installed but the process was completed only in 2008. The machines then broke down beyond repair only after 1 month of operation,” stated the RPP adding that the result has been horrendous.

“Let it sink. The richest region has been kept economically backward for decades on because some politicians decided to enrich themselves through unethical and criminal means. This crime should not go unpunished. The RPP will push for a probe or a court of enquiry,” asserted the RPP.

The RPP further asked the present Chairman of NSMDC to not speak of privatization, reminding the Chairman that in 2020-21, the NLA Committee on Public Undertakings recommended that the Wazeho Cement Plant be operated by the state government instead of being privatized.

“According to sources, the plant can be revived after an infusion of Rs 20-30 Cr. If the present NDPP-BJP coalition can freely give 120 Cr and 23 JCBs (worth 36 Lakhs each) to all the 60 MLAs – just like distributing peanuts, what is Rs. 30 Cr?” asked the RPP.

The RPP contends that privatization is unnecessary, as NSMDC employees at the Wazeho factory possess the competence to run the plant. Moreover, the RPP pointed out that the completion of the two-lane connectivity to Burma via Wazeho and Avangkhu ITC is nearing completion, and therefore, if the cement factory is revived without delay, the RPP asserted that Meluri sub-division will become the richest per capita in the state.

“Burma needs cement, and the other economic benefits of a Moreh like township in Meluri area is a possibility if the NDPP-BJP coalition is sincere,” added the RPP.

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