Assam to put pressure on Kamal Nath for fresh tender in NC Hills

GUWAHATI, Feb 3: The Union Ministry Road Transport and Highways has called a meeting of all State PWD ministers of the country in New Delhi on February 5 when the Assam Government is likely to put pressure on the ministry for issuance of tender of works again in the NC Hills stretch in the State where construction work of the East-West Corridor came to a grinding halt. Surface Transport Minister Kamal Nath will chair the meeting.
The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) under the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is the nodal agency for construction of the East-West Corridor work from Srirampur to Silchar in Assam and the State Government that does not have much say on the matter is looking after progress of the work. However, the work in the stretch of the corridor falling in NC Hills in the State came to grinding halt last year due to insurgency problems in the hill district. Even when the works of the project were going on, it was very slow due to incidents of kidnap and extortion by the DHD-J and other militant outfits. Last year, the situation reached such a pretty pass that four construction companies working in the project in NC Hills pulled out of the work, and the work of the corridor in the district has since been stopped.
With the DHD-J laying down arms a few months back, the situation in the hill district is conducive for project work. The State PWD has been constructing a 37-km two-lane road in the hill district without any problems from militants. According to sources, since normalcy returns in NC hills, the State Government wants the NHAI issue tender afresh for the work of the corridor in the NC Hills stretch so as to allot the work to some other construction companies.
According to sources, Assam PWD Minister Ajanta Neog, who is going to take part in the February 5 PWD ministers’ meeting, will put pressure on the Union ministry to speed up the work of the East-West Corridor in NC Hills by allotting the work to some other construction company.