Imphal, September 10 2017: Construction work of the Civil Secretariat which was taken up way back during the SPF Government headed by then Chief Minister O Ibobi is no longer making any progress and no one can say when the construction would be completed.
The Civil Secretariat is one of the major projects taken up by the Government with a view to shift the Old Secretariat complex to Chingmeirong as the existing buildings are quite old and they can no longer accommodate the key offices of Cabinet Ministers, the Chief Secretary and heads of departments.
In addition to the Secretariat, there are many other important Government offices and buildings around the Secretariat complex including the General Post Office whereby the road stretch from the General Post Office to the 1st Bn MR gate has been rendered highly congested.
This was another factor which hastened the then SPF Government to expedite its plan to shift the Secretariat from its present location to Chingmeirong.
The new Civil Secretariat being constructed at Chingmeirong was designed to accommodate more than 60 MLAs in case the number of MLAs increases with the passage of time.
Even though the Civil Secretariat is a big project, only around 70/80 labourers are engaged.
With the number of labourers limited to 70/80, the project has been making little progress, sources informed.
Notably, the foundation stone of the Civil Secretariat was laid on October 18, 2010.The construction work has been slowed down on account of financial constraints on the part of Simplex Project which has been executing the project.
Even though Simplex Project has been demanding payment of their liabilities, the Government cannot pay unreasonable liabilities.
The State Government too has been facing financial constraints, said the sources.
The liabilities demanded by Simplex Project include cost for uninstalled generators and transformers.
The Government cannot pay liabilities on the basis of such claims since transformers and generators have been procured, conveyed the sources.
The construction work has so slowed down that it is like the work has been suspended.
The Simplex Project Director has been asked to come to Imphal to discuss the matter and the Director is expected at Imphal within the next couple of days.
A meeting would be held once the Director arrives here to discuss about how to accelerate the Civil Secretariat construction work.
The construction work has already outrun the stipulated period for completion.
Even though the stipulated period for completion of the project has expired, there is no sign of accelerating the construction work.
Rather it is becoming slower and slower.
It’s time for the State Government to explore what disciplinary action can be initiated against the contractor/Simplex Project, the sources said.
The Government may look into whether the stipulated period for project completion was extended, and if yes how long it was extended.
The Government may also look into whether there was any bank guarantee for initiating punitive action, and if yes, it should check whether any contractual action can be initiated, added the sources.
Source: The Sangai Express