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Mizoram Assembly Speaker misappropriated PMGSY funds, says ZPM youth wing

It alleged that Lalrinliana Sailo has pocketed Rs 100 lakh from the Khawzawl-Ngaizawl road works under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana.

AIZAWL:

The Youth wing of opposition party Zoram People Movement (ZPM), on February 22, demanded an explanation from Assembly Speaker Lalrinliana Sailo after his name cropped up in a row between villagers of Ngaizawl and sub-contractor of Khawzawl-Ngaizawl road construction.

The ZPM alleged that Sailo has pocketed Rs 100 lakh from Khawzawl-Ngaizawl road works and has shares in several other contractual works.

According to a press statement issued by Ngaizawl NGOs and VC, the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) had sanctioned black/white topping of 13.5 km-long Khawzawl-Ngaizawl road commenced in 2017 with an estimated cost of Rs 408.81 lakh.

Assembly Speaker Sailo, then a Congress MLA, was allotted the work in the name of a registered first-class contractor Collin Lalsangpuii. The work was executed by sub-contractor Romuanpuii Zadeng in 2017.

However, during the last four years and three months, the sub-contractor has managed to complete blacktopping of only four kilometres long, the Ngaizawl NGO alleged, maintaining that the work will not be completed within the stipulated time.

“Even though the completion time has been extended till September 2022, there is no way that the sub-contractor can complete the work within the deadline,” the statement added.

The ZPM Legislature Party, including the Congress, have therefore appealed to chief minister Zoramthanga to appoint Deputy Speaker to chair the budget session in order to “maintain the sanctity of the House.”

In a letter to the chief minister, both the legislature parties said Speaker Lalrinliana Sailo has been involved in misappropriation of PMGSY funds amounting to Rs 100 lakh, in addition to being involved in other contract works.

“We don’t consider him fit to chair the Assembly House, and holding a session under his Chairmanship would destroy the sanctity of the House” they said.

Angered by the delay in road works between Khawzawl town and Ngaizawl village, residents of Ngaizawl had earlier, on February 21, ransacked the temporary shelters of workers engaged in the road construction.

The village council and NGOs had also served an ultimatum to the sub-contractor Zadeng to leave the construction site with all the machineries and workers before 12:00 pm on Monday, which did not happen, and the villagers were forced to stop the work.

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