Noting no completion of work within stipulated time and abandonment of work by M/s Oasis Techno Construction Limited engaged in construction of four-lane National Highway 29 from Dimapur to Kohima (Package-III), the Kohima Bench of Gauhati High Court directed the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL) not to release any pending dues including the bank guarantee to the firm without the “leave of this court”.
According to reports, a division bench of Justice LS Jamir and Justice Songkhupchung Serto issued the order on September 28 for lackadaisical, irresponsible behaviour as well as making deliberate false promises on oath before the court. The firm was also asked to liquidate 10% of the total contract amount of Rs 111.19 crore to the NHIDCL authorities within one month from September 29.
Resuming a sou motu PIL on the ongoing four-lanning construction works, the high court bench observed that the work order (new) with regard to Package- III that covers Piphema to Jotsoma stretch was issued as early as September 1, 2021, for an amount of Rs 111.19 crore and the time stipulation to complete the work was within 12 months.
“However, nothing has been done and from the various affidavits filed by the authority engineer we have seen that the respondent No. 12 (the contractor) is not serious for execution of the work with regard to Package-III,” it noted.
Director of M/s Oasis Techno Construction Limited Yashpa Sharma confirmed abandonment of the work before the court.
Accordingly, the court said it was constrained to pass a direction withholding the pending dues without the “leave of this court”.
The court was also informed that a new contractor M/s T Tachu & Co. has been appointed to look after the maintenance and safety works of Package-III in view of the “emergent situation” that has been created by the previous contractor.
It also directed the “authority engineer” as well as the authorities of the NHIDCL and the newly appointed firm to maintain the road under Package-III so that the commuters do not face any difficulties or inconveniences.
The director of M/s Oasis Techno Construction also submitted that three of its directors take a collective decision with regard to all projects. Accordingly, the court directed all the three directors to be present before it on the next returnable date to enable it to pass appropriate orders.
The next date of hearing has been fixed on October 12.