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Tue, 21 Jan 2020

Northeast Today

Nagaland Lokayukta orders inquiry into allegations

Nagaland Lokayukta orders inquiry into allegations
December 06
12:10 2019

NET Bureau

Nagaland Lokayukta on December 5 directed its police establishment to register separate preliminary inquiry cases in respect to issues raised by the Naga Peoples’ Front (NPF). The preliminary inquiry reports should be submitted on or before February 19, 2020, an order issued by Nagaland Lokayukta, Justice Uma Nath Singh informed.

The direction was in relation to allegation of negligence on development projects made by the Opposition NPF in the media against the ruling PDA government on November 16. On November 17, the Lokayukta directed the NPF, media houses, Nagaland Chief Secretary and also the Chief Engineer of the PWD (National Highways) to substantiate the allegation by filing affidavits before it on December 5.

As per today’s order, suo motu case has been registered under section 11, 8 (1) and 14 of the Nagaland Lokayukta Act 2017. At the hearing, the NPF represented by its Spokesperson Achumbemo Kikon, Nagaland Post, The Morung Express and Eastern Mirror filed affidavits. The Chief Secretary was not present, while the order citing the Advocate appearing for Nagaland Page said that a complete copy of the November 17 order was not made available, “Therefore, the affidavit could not be completed and sworn on time.”

NPF spokesperson Achumbemo Kikon, in a written statement, pointed out certain grievances which needed to be inquired by the Nagaland Lokayukta police establishment.

The grievances included the slow progress of Medical College in Kohima. The amount so far released for the construction of the said college is 100 plus crore but the work executed till date is much below the sanction amount, the NPF stated.

It also pointed out that the sanctioned amount for the Kohima city road, by-pass check gate to Phesama check gate is more than 150 crore, however, the execution is not according to the expectation of the amount sanctioned.

Further, the NPF in its statement said the sanctioned amount for Dimapur 4-land road from Purana Bazaar to Chümoukedima Patkai bridge point is more than 200 crore but execution of the work was not upto mark.

Fund meant for Kohima Smart City, which is more than 100 crore has not been utilized properly as per the DPR prepared, the NPF had also alleged.

The NPF spokesperson also pointed out that since the documents relating to the allegation are within the knowledge and possession of the state government, the opposition party is not in a position to furnish the same in support of the allegations.

The NPF spokesperson further stated that if Nagaland Lokayukta insists on strict compliance with procedures by requiring affidavits, the people of Nagaland may not come forward to lodge complaints in respect of matters of public interests.

However, as the Chief Secretary was not present to provide his views, the version of the state government was not available for assistance, the order stated.

During the course of hearing, it was also brought to the notice of the court that the grievances relating to the 4-laning road from Dimapur to Kohima (Patkai Bridge to Jotsoma bypass) related to NHIDC, a central agency.

However, as the funds released by the central government in respect thereof is for the construction of road in the state of Nagaland, the order observed that it may by improper to seek a response from that agency on delay as well as escalation of costs in completing the project.

It also informed that condition of roads and civic facilities in Dimapur was in a very pathetic condition and therefore need to be closely monitored. It therefore directed that a notice be issued to Dimapur Municipal Council and PWD (R&B) to file their affidavits, particularly in the light of the written statement and documents filed by the NPF.

Further, the Chief Secretary and Nagaland Page were directed to file affidavit before the next date of hearing.

Source: The Morung Express

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