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Nagaland: State languishes due to poor roads and bridges

It has been more than 50 years of statehood for Nagaland since it became the 16th state of India on 1st December 1963. In such a long time, road conditions have not yet improved. Even though, four-lane national highways have been built from Dimapur (commercial hub) towards Kohima (capital of Nagaland) viz Manipur, the old issues still remain.

The stakeholders

Is the duty of providing good roads for the state, limited only to national highways? Where are the state MLAs and Cabinet Ministers since the four-lane national highway plan was passed under the central BJP Govt which they are allied to? What have they done towards the development of commercial hubs in Eastern Nagaland for example, where there are terrible road conditions prevail in rural areas?

Initiatives

The old Dhansiri bridge in the commercial hub of Dimapur, which is the major linking bridge that connects national highways with Manipur, has been officially under construction for the last three years. Earlier it was single lane but after reconstruction, it will be a double lane highway. The bridge was targeted to be finished within three years, at an estimated cost of Rs 9.8 crore, as officially declared in the year 2017, whereas the Nagarjan Dhansari bridge has been recently constructed. Why is the major bridge in the city lacking behind?

Also read: Nagaland: Rising coronavirus cases bring back old faultlines in state

Fallout

The public has been suffering for decades since the bridge road is the way towards Civil District Hospital, Treasury Office, and Railway station, although there are alternative road connections. The Minister of road and bridge, PWD, and the leaders of initiatives should now take serious action on exercising their duty since, in the incident of the bridge collapse of Bagla Nodi, the 4th mile in Dimapur has killed 4 people and five were injured. The representatives must ensure such happenings are not repeated in the future.

Course of action

In Eastern Nagaland, the two District road between Longleng-Tuensang has been slated in the year 2019 to be upgraded in the month of October through funds from the North East Council at an estimated cost of  Rs 188 crore out of which 75 crores was already released to the department of PWD. However, again this year 2020, 19 February the Launching program of Rehabilitation and upgradation of Longleng-Tuensang road 51.6 km road under the North East Road Sector Development Scheme (NERSDS) was held. Why?

The schemes have been sufficiently provided but the situation of the roads is horribly poor in terms of implementation. This provides an important infrastructure challenge in times of the Covid19 pandemic.

About the author: Kito k Yeptho is a mass communication student in Royal Global University

Views expressed are that of the author

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