Thursday, July 07, 2022

Deplorable and waterlogged roads reign Nagaland

By EMN Updated: Aug 11, 2014 12:00 am

Principal Correspondent

WITH monsoon in full swing, roads in Nagaland are turning from bad to worse with commuters finding the road disappearing under the wheels of the vehicle they are travelling in.
The roads in almost all the districts maintained by either Border Roads Organisation (BRO) or the State Public Works Department (PWD) are a nightmare not only for the drivers but even the occupants with unavoidable banging of heads during the bumpy rides. The potholed roads make for such a bumpy ride that it really tests the driving skills of a motorist.
The State Capital or the ‘first district’ is not an exception as potholes reign the stretch of the Main Town while from PWD Junction to Lerie Colony it is almost like a water storage which getting wider and deeper.
Mentionably, considering the repair and construction of roads in Kohima only in the month of November 2013, just before the Annual International Hornbill Festival and inauguration of the year-long Golden Jubilee Celebration of Statehood, it appeared to be matter of ‘Quality Workmanship’.
A few days earlier, the department and BRO were making efforts to fill up the major damages but to no avail.
Meanwhile, a recent journey from Kohima to Mokokchung via Wokha in a light vehicle to attend the inaugural function of 38th Nagaland Inter District and State Open Badminton Championship 2014 brought forward the horrifying conditions of the National Highway-2 (erstwhile NH-61).
The bumpy ride not only was atrocious but even the growing thick shrubs along the road side added to the vows of the driver to negotiate not only the sharp curves but also the waterlogged potholes which almost resemble fishery ponds.
Some broken vehicles, both heavy and light, were seen stranded along the roadsides. The travelers are left dumbfounded just before reaching Wokha district as some portions of the NH also appear to be rocky small rivers or drainage compelling the drivers to wait and find the pliable road.
The 80-km stretch from Kohima to Wokha, which should normally take hardly few minutes more than two hours, presently takes almost three-and-a-half hours.
Sadly, the road in Wokha district headquarters is surprisingly untraceable as the downpour adds to the muddy condition causing immense trouble to those moving on foot. The local transporters (mostly autorickshaws) are doing brisk business transporting school students, office goers and shoppers extensively using it.
After crossing Doyang Bridge in Wokha, as one enters VK Town in Zunheboto district, one can have the smoothest drive and also enjoy the scenic beauty with some monsoon waterfall upto Ungma village entry junction (community graveyard) in Mokokchung district. However, the patches from there till the venue Imkongmeren Sports Complex, especially the Sewak Check Gate, have also been very poorly maintained.
The efforts of The Naga Blog (TNB) through Mission Pothole in 2012 waking up the government to provide better roads for people of the State is yet to see the light of the day.
It may be recalled that Minister for Roads & Bridges Kuzholuzo (Azo) Nienu after taking over the charge in March 2013 under DAN-III government had stated “Road is the mirror of the State and also the government”.
He had assured the people of Nagaland that he would bring change and improvement in the road sector within three months, adding initially five districts would be taken up for improving the road conditions, including Kohima, Dimapur and Phek along with one district each from the backward and advanced areas, would be given priority during this first three years of his ministership. Azo had announced this during a press conference at his official chamber in Secretariat Kohima.
On the other hand, newly appointed Minister for PWD (National Highways) Nuklutoshi, reacting to media queries in mid-July on the dilapidated road conditions under BRO in the state capital, had said the BRO had assured the State government that they would repair the roads within a couple of weeks.
He had said an officer of BRO in presence of Chief Minister TR Zeliang had assured to take the repair works. “Now we are waiting for the fulfillment of the assurance given by BRO,” he stated.
However, those responsible for maintaining roads presently have the best of excuses over monsoon season hampering the maintenance work.

By EMN Updated: Aug 11, 2014 12:00:37 am