Assam Govt. pulls up NHAI for delay

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Guwahati, Mar 15 (UNI) The Assam government today pulled up the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) for delay in construction activities as well as bad maintenance of roads under them.

A meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Prafulla Chandra Sarma today took stock of the situation and expressed unhappiness over the slow progress of work.

The NHAI is expanding the National Highway between Srirampur and Silchar in Assam, a distance of nearly 600 km, but the progress has been very slow.

The NHAI team was led by their member (Technical) Nirmaljit Singh. The NHAI said lack of security and frequent bandhs had hampered the progress of work.

The government is under tremendous pressure of late as the Assam Assembly also discussed the matter and expressed serious concern over the delay in work. Bad maintenance of work during the expansion had further complicated construction of the highway.

The NHAI had been badly hit by abduction and insurgency in the insurgency prone North Cachar Hills as five persons of the contractors are still in captivity of abductors. They were kidnapped last Wednesday.

The matter was discussed in the meeting as the state government assured more forces but sought more time. The mega project is expected to be completed by 2009.

The meeting also discussed the possibility of bypassing the Kaziranga National Park when the NHAI would also start expanding the Nagaon-Dibrugarh stretch of highway.

The Environment ministry had rejected any proposal of making any construction near the Park which would endanger normal movement of the animals as there are eight corridors of the animals in that stretch of 25 km.

UNI MT PL DB1642

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