Ramky Infrastructure deserts 4-lane project

From Eric Calvin Ranee

 NONGPOH: The construction of the much hyped four-lane highway from Jorabat to Lad Umroi in Ri-Bhoi District has come to a stand still for the past one month due to the sudden desertion of project by Ramky Infrastructure Ltd. compelling Infrastructure and Leasing & Financial Services (ILFS) Ltd. to step in abruptly apparently with not much of preparation, for carrying on the project work.

Though the reasons behind Ramky’s sudden desertion of the project mid-way is still unclear, sources have alleged that the incident where a youth lost his life at Shanbangla due to carelessness on the part of the construction officials, may have prompted the officials of the YFC Projects Private Ltd. to flee fearing arrest.

As per the initial agreement, IFLS had assigned Ramky Infrastructure with the task of constructing the four-lane expressway from Jorabat to Lad Umroi and the latter then entered into a sub contract agreement with YFC Projects Private Ltd. for construction of the express way from Umdihar to Lad Umroi. Ramky has undertaken the task of constructing the highway from Jorabat till Umdihar.

However, after Ramky Infrastructure abandoned the project, YFC is left in the lurch resulting in the stoppage of construction work from Umdihar till Lad Umroi for the past one month.

In comparison with Ramky Infrastructure, YFC has executed the project in a better and more careful manner with no report of any accident or negligence of work in their jurisdiction from Umdihar to Lad Umroi.

However, Ramky Infrastructure, which was implementing the construction from Jorabat to Umdihar, was found to be negligent in executing the project with several incidents reported over time.

A landslide at 19 Mer due to rampant earth cutting by the company resulted in the death of three persons last year, while in another incident a school boy had drowned at Shangbangla due to inordinate dumping of earth by the company resulting in formation of a pond.

The latest incident was reported on March 7 this year at Shangbangla where due to alleged excessive use of explosives, a large scale blast occurred, resulting in the death of one Baniarap Markhap, 17, who was travelling in a Maruti car and was unfortunately present in the blast zone. Four other people were also injured and properties were damaged in the blast.

Following the incident there was hue and cry against the company raised by the KSU North Khasi Hills District unit and the RBYF central body, who also decided to disallow Ramky Infrastructure from conducting any blasting or use of explosives in the ongoing construction. The NGOs had also demanded arrest of the erring officials and staffs of Ramky Infrastructure.

Despite the fact that no arrest was made, the company has deserted the project, leading to fears that the project would not be completed within December as was stated by the Government, both at the Centre and the State, from time to time.

Meanwhile, stoppage of the construction work has caused great inconvenience for the daily commuters on NH-40 as the existing road is in bad shape with lots of potholes and mud pools across the whole stretch of the Lad Umiam-Jorabat highway.

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