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17-km road built in seven days. It happens only in Assam. On paper

17-km road built in seven days. It happens only in Assam. On paper

During the investigation by India Today NE, it was also found that contract for the same work has been taken twice by the firms connected to Tuliram Ronghang, the head of Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council, an autonomous district council constituted under the 6th Schedule of the Constitution

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Tuliram Ronghang Tuliram Ronghang

Is it possible to complete widening of a 17-kilometre-long road with a sanctioned budget of Rs 30 crore in just seven days? That too in a hilly terrain? Most infrastructure experts would say it’s next to impossible. But this incredible feat has been achieved, at least on paper, in Assam’s Karbi Anglong district. 

official order
official order

On December 22, 2020, office of the additional chief engineer, PWD (R&B) Hills, Assam issued a work order to Kache Construction (OPC) Private Limited to execute the work of “widening with geometrical improvement of Diphu-Dillai-Sarihujan Road (Birola to Rongplimplam)—a 17-km stretch of road in Diphu in Karbi Anglong. A week later, on December 29, 2020, the executive engineer of PWD Road division of Diphu issued the completion certificate for the same work. 

Kache Construction, which made this miracle possible, is owned by Singdon Ronghang, son of BJP leader Tuliram Ronghang, who is also the Chief Executive Member (CEM) of Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council, an autonomous district council constituted under the 6th Schedule of Indian Constitution. The registered address of the company is: C/o Tuliram Ronghang, Patta No 518, Diphu Manja Road (Pole No 04800910N) Diphu, Karbi Anglong, Assam-782460. 

Official Order
​ Official Order ​

When India Today NE asked Tuliram Ronghang how this incredible task was completed, he denied any irregularity. “A six-member team of Assam Assembly committee led by BJP MLA Prasanta Phukan and comprising of MLAs from Congress and the AIUDF inspected the road three months ago and gave a report to the chief minister saying that a good job was done,” he said. 

However, when India Today NE asked Phukan about the supposed “good job” report, he said that no inquiry was conducted into that particular road. “We didn’t dig that road to check. We were also not aware in how many days the road was constructed. Nevertheless, we saw a good road, and the government should order a vigilance enquiry for a detailed report. Ours  was a bird’s eye view,” says Phukan.

Infrastructure experts say that if the work is of this magnitude (17 km road widening), quality work cannot happen if it is completed in seven days. “It is technically impossible to complete the construction of 17 km of work within seven days. Even if someone works using bitumen, it is not possible finish in just seven days,” says a retired PWD official, who did not want to be named.  

There have also been allegations that most of the government contractual works are being cornered by Kache Construction and Inglong Enterprise, which is owned by Tuliram Ronghang’s brother Robiram Ronghang. During the investigation by India Today NE, it was further found that contract for the same work has been taken twice by the firms connected to Tuliram Ronghang. 

Official order
Official order

On December 2018, Karbi Anglong Transportation and Development department gave a contract worth Rs 9.32 crore to Maneem Teronpi, daughter of Tuliram Ronghang’s brother-in-law, for the improvement of road from 1st Police point of DM road to Matipug Tinali for the length of 1.6 Km. Three months later under CM’s Special Package of 100 crore, again a contract of Rs 14 crore was again given to Inglong Enterprise for the construction 1.6 km of the same road—from First Police Point to DM road to Matipug Tiniali.

 

Edited By: Nandita Borah
Published On: Apr 03, 2023