Foothill road to save feet
[dropcap]O[/dropcap]f late, much fanfare has been waved about the proposed foothill road construction from Niuland to Tizit via Wokha and Mokokchung districts. In view of the hazards of having to pass through Assam by over 4,000 Nagas on a daily basis in public transports or private means, the need of a road within our very boundaries had become imperative since long. However, till date no one had tried to bell the cat.
The ruling NPF-led DAN Government has at last decided to take the bull by the horns by first conducting survey of the proposed road which is about 240 kms long. However, certain villages en route also wanted some diversification so that they could also be able to be on the communication line and also peddle some of their economic assets—thus increasing the length of the road which had earlier not been envisaged.It is well known that when the DPR (detailed project report) is prepared, it would entail a number of weeks at the earliest. The DPR would have to go into details of machinery and equipments required, the raw materials like sand, pebbles, bitumen, tar, manpower, fuel, electricity and related accessories. Any official procedure is generally a prolonged process. For instance, after the DPR is approved, two to three months would have passed by. Then the R & B department would have to await the approval of the Finance Department which would take another couple of months and by the time such formalities are complete, the current financial year would have been over by March end 2014.
Nevertheless, to expedite this much awaited road, Minister for Roads and bridges (R & B), Kuzholuzo (Azo) Nienu, had decided to go ahead in advance of the printed formalities. As a first step, he has aimed that contractors willing to take the risk by starting part of the works even on credit would ultimately be adequately rewarded both financially and, of course, the good will and blessings of the people concerned.
What is even more encouraging is that the NFHRCC (Naga Foothill Road Construction Committee) had assured that the land owners would not harass the Government for financial compensation. However, NFHRCC has also come under fire from the Konyak Union (KU) for what it described as “creating hue and cry among different groups of its people by realigning without the knowledge and consultation of KY under its jurisdiction.” This difference can, of course, be settled between the two organisations without having to go so public and thus seem to throw a spanner into the works when it is not really required. The NHFRCC is prepared to face any eventuality the road for survival. Accordingly, it has appealed to the public to extend helping hands to the concerned department which in turn has been urged to strike while the iron is hot to hammer out the desired shape. On its part, the KU has conveyed its proposal to the R &B department with a copy for the NHFRCC. It has stated that it will remain vigilant and expressed hope that the department will not fail in its wisdom while executing the work.
It is to be hoped that this one project will take off without a hitch and achieve its target unlike others that have been regretful to recall.