Wokha, 8 February (MTNews): The apex civil society organizations (CSOs) of Wokha district have declared that the ongoing bandh along the National Highway passing through the Wokha district, which started today, will be intensified effective from the 10th of February, 2024.

According to the announcement made by the CSOs, the indefinite bandh shall continue with the same modalities till 9 February 2024. However, in the event of a lack of positive response from the authorities by 6 pm on the 9th of February, the indefinite bandh is set to be intensified with the addition of several actions. These include the indefinite lockdown of the office of the Deputy Commissioner Wokha, the office of SDO (NH) Wokha, as well as the total restriction of all vehicular movement and the closure of all commercial establishments in the district.

However, certain exemptions from the purview of the indefinite bandh have been outlined, including police, paramilitary forces, medical services such as ambulances and private vehicles transporting patients or deceased individuals, fire and emergency services, power department personnel with duty detailment slips from respective controlling authorities, postal services, and the press.

In cases of medical emergencies within the district, citizens are urged to obtain witness documents from their respective Village Council authorities or Colony Council chairmen and present them before the bandh volunteers to obtain car passes.

The CSOs also reiterated their earnest appeal to all fellow Lothas, particularly the Naga brethren, to understand their genuine demand for improved roads and to extend their cooperation and support in their pursuit of justice.

DC Wokha appeals
Meanwhile, in response to the ongoing indefinite bandh affecting the widening project of NH-61, the Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Wokha, Ajit Kumar Ranjan IAS has made an appeal to the Lotha Hoho and other Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the district to keep the bandh in abeyance.

The appeal follows the issuance of a final notice from the Chief Engineer of the Public Works Department (PWD), Nagaland to the contractor responsible for the widening project, urging them to resume work within ten days. Failure to comply will result in necessary action being taken against the contractor.

In light of the impending action against the contractor, the DC has requested the CSOs to temporarily suspend the indefinite bandh.

Amid bandh, TTC Infra India explains NH-61 project status
In response to the ongoing indefinite bandh on NH-61 and the concerns raised regarding the execution of the NH-61 contract project, TTC Infra India provided insights into the situation.

According to the company, the delay and hindrances in the project execution primarily stem from issues related to Right of Way (ROW). The company stated, “The ROW issue became an inhibiting factor from the very inception. A contractor awarded the construction of road projects is not in any way involved in the process of securing the ROW.” They further explained that while certain stretches of the project have been completed as per specifications, the ROW for 10% of the project is still unavailable due to unresolved land compensation issues.

Regarding allegations of substandard work and demands for demolishing compensated buildings and structures, the company clarified, “The work order contained specific details for each project component, and so far, the Contract Authority has found no faults.” Additionally, the company emphasized that the responsibility for securing ROW and dealing with compensated buildings falls outside the contractor’s purview.

The company also highlighted the significant losses incurred due to prolonged project delays caused by protests and obstructions, stating, “The closure of work for more than two years has entailed huge losses for the contractor.” They further explained that despite efforts to resume work, challenges persist due to incomplete ROW provision and additional demands not specified in the original contract.

TTC Infra India, in conclusion, expressed hope that their press statement would clarify any misunderstandings surrounding the project’s execution and emphasized that the issues raised are beyond the contractor’s responsibility. (Read full text here)

Meanwhile, today, the Deputy Commissioner of Wokha stated that as of now about 98 percent RoW is available free of dispute.

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