Shillong, June 24: Deputy Chief Minister in-charge PWD (Roads) Prestone Tynsong has said the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) is in the process of re-tendering the works for two of the five packages of the Shillong-Dawki road project.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Tynsong said the contractors implementing package 1 and package 5 have surrendered the work recently.
“Now, the NHIDCL is in the process of re-tendering the works,” he said.
While delay in land acquisition is a problem, the reason for the surrender of two packages is that the company had quoted low rate at the time of bidding but on the ground, they realised that with the quoted amount , they would not be able to complete the assigned portion.
Commenting on the criticism against the inability of the government to provide land, the deputy chief minister said there are sections of the road where the government has to negotiate with the land owners.
He wanted the people, who are blaming the government, to also help in resolving this chronic problem relating to unavailability of land due to the peculiar land tenure system in the state.
“The land belongs to the people and even though laws are in place, if an individual is not willing to part the land, you cannot do anything,” Tynsong said.
“Therefore, I request all the stakeholders to please cooperate and don’t be so selfish at least if a road construction is there, it is for your benefit and also for the benefit of the state as a whole,” he added.
According to the deputy chief minister, some of the land owners are not willing to part with their land despite efforts made by the deputy commissioner to convince them.
“Therefore, it takes a lot of time and the challenge we have is huge,” he said.
Tynsong said the government is yet to hand over 10 percent of land to the NHIDCL due to unavailability of land. “But 90 percent of land we have already handed over for the implementation of the project,” he said.
The road project is funded by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) at an estimated cost of Rs 1187.5 crore. With land acquisition, the total project cost was estimated at Rs 1377.5 crore.