Ancient Bridges - Eastern Mirror
Thursday, July 18, 2024

Ancient Bridges

By The Editorial Team Updated: Jul 20, 2017 12:59 am

Almost like an aftermath, days after disaster struck when a bridge over River Chathe in Dimapur district collapsed killing 4 persons the State agencies have been continuously issuing warnings of many more bridges in the state that are now almost in a state of ruin. The safety and worthiness of most of the bridges in Nagaland have now caught the attention of all after the recent disaster. A few days after the collapse, a warning was given by an agency that the ongoing construction of a suspension bridge near the old Dhansiri to be unsafe. Then later it was followed by a directive given by the local administration at Tuli that the bridge over River Milak was unsafe for heavy vehicles. The notification restricted the plying of vehicles beyond certain laden weight. A similar notification was also given by ADC Mangkolemba with regard to the bridge in the town. There are many bridges in the state that have been constructed in the seventies if not earlier except for a few that were built recently. However the departments and agencies concerned for the maintenance of these bridges seemed to be at a lost and unless there are noticeable signs of deterioration it seems it is left unattended. The scarcity of money for maintenance by the state government can be a reason but the departments can still employ so many labours and contingency employees at the same time which defy logic. There is no accountability as such and the expected worthiness reports of the most crucial of the bridges of every HQ or township in the districts are not to be found nor are there any mention of it. There have been zero reports from the agencies of such surveys unlike the PR events that the departments and agencies conduct that all want it to be published accompanied with large sized photos and that too in colour. On the other hand there have been a constant indication of publicity frenzy departments and agencies if its programmes are in anyway related to sanction of money. In some way the media in Nagaland have over the years unwillingly been the best vehicles of these government agencies to further their agendas. However any criticism in any form of media is responded by sulking in public, literally like kids, by its well decorated officers and sometimes even led by the elected members in charge of the department. Felicitation in public is overrated and is still a craze for all whereas criticisms in public is taken personally added with communal and political colours. In a classic example, Eastern Mirror wanting to know the worthiness and other details of the Old Over Bridge in Dimapur that was inaugurated in the seventies approached the concerned department. However the reporter was instead directed to the central agency that was in charge of it earlier stating the files may still be with the earlier agency. As expected the central agency replied that the maintenance of the bridge is already transferred to the state agency and was unable to assist. The matter ended there without receiving any details from both the agencies. Such is the level of negligence by the departments in the state. While it has been a noticeable practice that any new project or scheme is welcomed with a flurry of activity right from the government to the public, slowly there is no ownership from almost all concerned after sometime. The recent incident and the unfolding of the state of affairs should be an eye-opener for the people to imbibe ownership and responsibility and at the same time make the departments more accountable.

By The Editorial Team Updated: Jul 20, 2017 12:59:44 am
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