Published On : Sun, Mar 22nd, 2015

Massive irregularities in construction of National Highway No. 6 section come to the fore

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Nagpur:
Outraged by the rampant irregularities in construction of a section of National Highway No. 6, Lalsingh Thakur, Maharashtra Unit Secretary of All India Human Rights Monitoring Committee recently shot a letter to M Chandrashekhar, General Manager (Tech) and Project Director, PIU, National Highways Authority and sought stringent action against concerned authorities. The irregularities pertain to construction of four laning Nagpur-Wainganga Bridge Section (From 498.000 km to 544.200 km) of National Highway No. 6.

In his letter, Lalsingh Thakur referred the Mouda’s Survey Engineer S S Bedi’s December 6 2013 letter to the contractor Wainganga Expressway Pvt Ltd and the project’s Managing Consultant Artifact Projects Limited. Thakur said the letter was in fact an inter-office memo that was issued on December 13, 2013 and a copy of the office memo was also sent to him (M Chandrashekhar). Bedi, after surveying the construction work, had submitted his report in which he had clearly charged that the work was not done in accordance with the accepted norms. The clauses of agreement were flagrantly violated and massive irregularities were committed. Bedi, in order to point out the irregularities, had annexed 64-page documents to the office memo and reported the anomalies in details. Bedi had reported how the contractor changed the original design and maps at his will and convenience. The outcome of the irregularities will be sordid construction of the National Highway Section which was ultimately bared during rainy season, pointed out Lalsingh Thakur in his letter.

Pushing the disgusting facts further, Thakur said, “Acting on Bedi’s office memo, you (M Chandrashekhar) sent a letter to Project Director of Wainganga Expressway Pvt Ltd (whose office at that time was situated near Sona Bar and Restaurant in Mathni village of Mouda Tehsil) directing him to correct the wrong as soon as possible and calm the ruffled feathers of Survey Engineer. Similarly, you directed the Project Director to submit detailed report in this regard. Acting on your letter, the chief of Wainganga Expressway Pvt Ltd Lt Colonel (retired) S K Chawla, through a December 13, 2013 letter, audaciously leveled damning allegations against the Survey Engineer Bedi and further claimed that everything was okay. Chawla had put Bedi in the dock apparently based on a letter of Artifact Projects Pvt Ltd’s Team Leader. However, taking a U-Turn suddenly, through a letter sent to you on December 20, 2013, the Artifact Projects Pvt Ltd suggested a survey of construction work jointly by National Highway Authority and the company. The suggestion ploy was in reference to an inspection of road carried out by company’s Team Leader on December 19, 2013,” revealed the letter of Lalsingh Thakur.

The explosive letter sent to M Chandrashekhar, General Manager (Tech) and Project Director, PIU, National Highways Authority by Lalsingh Thakur, Maharashtra Unit Secretary of All India Human Rights Monitoring Committee went further and further exposing the corrupt practices being witnessed in construction of four laning Nagpur-Wainganga Bridge Section from 498.000 km to 544.200 km of National Highway No. 6. The letter said that the Survey Engineer Bedi rejected the claims of improvement and amendment pushed by Wainganga Expressway Pvt Ltd and the project’s Managing Consultant Artifact Projects Limited. On the other hand, Bedi continued to stress on stopping the irregularities. But unfortunately the matter hit the roadblock and the section of the National Highway has not been shining. The road sees heavy traffic with hundreds of vehicles passing from either side posing hazards to lives of people. Moreover, the Government coffers have been dented to the tune of crores, pointed out the letter.

Lalsingh Thakur has demanded that the present status of the road and action taken against the contractor be made public. People should know whether the contractor is penalized or not.

Exposing the corruption in the harsh words, the letter further said that in the absence of Bedi, another officer signed the official documents and accorded the legal status to the work. The officer has been “awarded” in terms of carrying higher official’s duty even though posted at lower rank, said the letter.

Lalsingh Thakur even charged the National Highway Authority with awarding the company a permission to run a toll post and the toll post has started functioning from January 10, too.

The letter put the authorities on the edge by stating that the All India Human Rights Monitoring Committee is going through the matter and will knock the doors of higher officials unless corrective measures are initiated. The Committee has also demanded closing of toll post immediately and stopping of payment to contractor till the investigation into the matter is completed.

Rajeev Ranjan Kushwaha ( rajeev.nagpurtoday@gmail.com )