The Manipur Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has asked the principal secretary (works) and the chief engineer of state Public Works Department to respond within three weeks on a suo-motu case regarding a contractor leaving the road unattended after allegedly withdrawing funds in Churachandpur district.
The MHRC had taken up the suo-motu case for inquiry under Section 12 of Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, based on a Imphal Free Press report published on May 16 under the headline ‘Contractor alleged of leaving road unattended after withdrawing funds.’
From the news report, MHRC noted that a road constructed under PMGSY connecting Samulamlan sub-divisional headquarter to G Songgel village in Churachandpur district has been left unattended after the contractor concerned reportedly withdrew the sanctioned amount and remained at large.
The contractor had allegedly withdrawn a sum of Rs 3, 50, 75, 004 out of Rs 6, 36, 54, 041 sanctioned amount. The department concerned reportedly had already released the sanctioned amount in four phases.
However, to the dismay of the local populace, the road reportedly remained incomplete even after three years of its sanctioning, leaving the local settlers to wonder as to why the road remained unattended.
The commission stated that every person is entitled to life as enshrined in article 21 of the Constitution. He has right under article 19(1)(d) to move freely throughout the territory of India, and he has also the right under article 21 as it embraces not only the physical existence of life but the quality, it stated. For residents of hilly areas, in view of the constitutional imperative, denial of that right would be denial of life, MHRC stated.
Hence, the MHRC has asked PWD to submit the response within three weeks and fixed the next proceeding on June 6, it added.