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Slow progress of NH-37 four-laning work hits commuters
Correspondent
 DERGAON, May 22 - The very slow rate of progress of construction work of four lane of NH-37 from Numaligarh to Jorhat in upper Assam has made the normal life of commuters miserable.

The whole road, specially from Dergaon to Jorhat, has turned into a series of big ditches, due to which the commuters are facing serious problems.

It may be mentioned that Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal had recently warned the NHIDCL to repair the road immediately. But that warning seems to also have gone in vain.

The Ministry of Road Transport & Highway (MoRTH) awarded the contract worth Rs 454.89 crore to the Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) under the supervision of the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) for four-laning of the 50.5-km-long Numaligarh-Jorhat (falling in Golaghat and Jorhat districts) section of the NH-37 in upper Assam.

The project is part of the Special Accelerated Road Development Programme for the North Eastern Region (SARDP-NE) of the Government of India and includes rehabilitation, upgrade and augmentation of the existing carriageway, major and minor bridges, culverts, road intersections, interchanges, drains, etc.

In the first phase, an amount of Rs 454.89 crore was sanctioned for a length of 39.72 km four- laning from Numaligarh to Jorhat, (excluding the 10.78 km of Dergaon) and the contract was signed on May 23, 2015.

As per the agreement, the project should have been completed within thee years from the signing of the agreement i.e., on May 22, 2018.

But practically, according to official records retrieved from the website of NHIDCL on Friday, only 27.59 % physical progress along with 26.49 % financial progress was achieved on March 31, 2019.

An official source revealed that a total of 13.5 km out of 25 km four lane has been completed in Golaghat district, while not a single kilometre of road out of 14 km part in Jorhat district was completed in the last four years. The earth works in 10 km of Golaghat district part and 5 km of Jorhat district part only are going on.

The Project officer of HCC camping at Badulipar, Bikash Ranjan Goala said that a total of 27 kilometre two laning out of 39.72 kilometre four laning has been completed.

“But due to ban on stone mining in Karbi Anglong, shortage of stone and soil has led to total stopping of the construction work”, Goala said.

“We are facing serious problems due to the slow progress of the construction work and non- repairing of the road as needed. We demand accelerating the works and repairing of the road for convenience of the commuters,” Milon Jyoti Khataniar, the secretary of Dergaon branch of All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) said.

“If immediate repairing is not done, we will initiate an agitation against the NHIDCL”, Khataniar said.

“We want immediate completion of the construction at any cost”, Chandan Gogoi of Badulipar reiterated.

“The government should take action against NHIDCL”, the president of organisation working for Nature conservation AASHRAY Biren Ch Saikia added.

“The unsatisfactory performance of HCC must be checked and they should be penalised for their slow progress for which the common people have to suffer a lot”, the spokesperson of All Assam High School Teachers’ Association (AAHTA) and the head master of Dusutimukh High School Sachi Gohain stated. “The NHIDCL and HCC must be penalised for their sub-standard works”, Prasenjit Khound, a resident of Dergaon town added.

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