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Lawyers seek MP’s intervention Delay in NH-15 bypass project
Correspondent
 MANGALDAI, March 9 - Irked over the slow progress of the NH-15 bypass construction on the outskirts of Mangaldai town, a group of five lawyers of the Mangaldai Bar, led by senior lawyer Jayanta Deka have once again urged Mangaldai MP Dilip Saikia to take necessary steps for the completion of the survey work by April 15 next.

Bringing the matter to the notice of Saikia on the basis of the relevant information collected under the RTI Act, the group of lawyers in their petition, expressed doubts over the completion of the project in the next seven or eight years. This was stated by the lawyers’ group in a letter to the media recently.

Justifying their apprehension, they stated that according to the information provided by the concerned government authority PWD, NH, Rangiya Division on February 12 last, only the inception report including Quality Assessment Plan (QAP) and Draft Feasibility Study (FS) report have been submitted to the Chief Engineer, PWD, NH (Works). However, the approval of the draft feasibility report for alignment is still awaited. The submission of Preliminary Project Report (PPR) and Detail Project Report (DPR) are to follow before the sanctioning of the proposed bypass from the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MORT&H), Government of India. In such a situation, it is apprehended that it will take another four years for completion of the survey and there is hardly any indication that the proposed bypass project could be complete by 2028.

It may be mentioned here that Chief Engineer, PWD (NH) Works issued the work order to Allianz Engineers of Chandmari, Guwahati on June 10, 2016 for survey of the proposed project in between village Boina-oja under Mangaldai Police Station on the west and Khatania-para under Dhula Police Station on the east.

The petitioners which included four other lawyers – Nirod Deka, Jatin Nath, Kalpana Deka and Nayanmani Deka pointed out how the nearly 12-km stretch of NH 15 passing through the busy Mangaldai town has been causing traffic congestion, and inconvenience to the pedestrians particularly school children, women and senior citizens and early construction of the bypass on the outskirts of Mangaldai has been a long-time demand of the people of Mangaldai.

It has been also urged in the petition that in the event of failure on the part of Alliance Engineers and Consultants to submit the complete survey report within the said time line, appropriate coercive action should be initiated against it. Separate copies of the petition were also submitted to the Chief Engineer, PWD, NH and Commissioner Secretary, Department of Public Grievances, Govt of Assam.

Talking to this correspondent, senior advocate Jayanta Deka said that after three months they will follow the matter up with another RTI petition and in case there is no satisfactory progress, the matter will be brought before the high power Petition Committee of the State Assembly. Meanwhile, a source in the PWD, NH Department informed this correspondent on Friday that works of detail survey and land acquisition have gained momentum in the last few days and joint teams of staff from Mangaldai and Dalgaon revenue circle offices and the consultancy firm have been formed for its quick functioning.

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