Fear is the key.The plan to get 86 bridges built along the National Highways in Jharkhand had got stuck.In all,Rs 150 crore was to be spent on their construction.
Although the Centre had released the fund and the state road Department had floated tenders during the past six months,the construction of none of these bridges had not started till date.Reason?
Not one contractor had responded despite the fact that the department had published four tenders since April 1 this year.
Each of these bridges were planned to be constructed in Naxaite infested areas of the state falling on Ranchi-Daltongunj,NH 75,Ranchi-Khunti,NH 75,Padwa More-Hariharganj,NH 98 and Bagodar-Chatra,NH 98.
As per the Department’s guideline,staff of the appointed contractor were supposed to stay on the site for the constructon.But solely due to the fear of the Naxalites,none of the contractors were ready to take the job order.”This is the main problem”,cribbed Ashok Singh,Junior Engineer of the Department.
Naxalites extort ransom from every contractor involved in implementation of every development scheme.The sum of the ransom varied from 20 to 30 percent of the scheme’s outlay.If the contractor paid it,he was allowed to execute the work.In case,he dared and not pay,he faced attack,his equipments were burnt and staff kidnapped.
”Some times,they killed too”,cribbed Satyanarain Singh,a contractor,whose two staff were shot dead in Palamau on October 3,last year.
Asked what the Department will do now,Singh said:”We will publish tenders again and wait for the response.”