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By EMN Updated: Aug 17, 2013 2:26 am

‘Nagaland’s “life -lines” are “road transport,”
which consist the major bulk of communication between people and districts’
‘Road should be the focus on a priority basis, and
only after having done well, then, let’s think of other mode of transports’

Robin Temsu

A fundamental infrastructural development the govt of Nagaland and the stake holders needs to address and implement changes, is in regard to the much feared road conditions within and outside the state capital Kohima.
The irony is the lack of governmental concerns and the apathy of the general Naga public. Till date, unlike other states, Nagaland’s “life -lines” are “road transport,” which consist the major bulk of communication between people and districts. It is dictated by its geographical landscape for better or for worse and we have to learn to live within that environment. Despite, its importance the neglect of the “road always travelled” is becoming a serious socio-economic problem. Be it the exponential growth of vehicle population; sinking highways and roads to the goodaism of the politico-administrative elite who thinks they own the public space. In the jostle for limited space, unless creative solution is arrived at, we are looking at gross violation of its citizen’s basic right to life. The right to have good roads for all round progress and economic development!
Parking space is another area to pursue with a missionary zeal to ease not only the traffic but also to provide protection against vehicle theft and other related issues. Road Rage which is absent or negligent till date will occupy serious media-space unless proper rules are implemented to tide over accidents. Traffic police should be able to book the guilty instead of asking them to mediate themselves. It is interesting to witness traditional laws being applied to a modern technological dilemma. And who can stop it from taking a tribal overtone and colouring, as it is, in most case here in our land.
The fall out of this will occupy gigantic space for debate and finger-pointing blame game in days to come, unless the stake holders addresses the issue now. For now the general public had to bear the brunt of poor road surface. Hoping against hope for a better today!
Development and maintenance of our roads should become our chief fundamental concern. The reality of these facts should overrule the states intention of opening railway line, to having an airport in the state capital, as a prestige issue.
The failure of previous attempts should serve us a lesson. Besides, the demographic and environmental hurdle, the economic viability of Air/railway project should close the argument in favour of developing the road transport on a war scale. But is anyone listening? Any developmental concerns have to look at the regional and local dynamics before embarking on any ‘good ideas, however good it seemed’ which may not be sustainable. Till date, most development in Nagaland is implemented, sane without any proper research. It’s high time, sound judgement should accompany our dreams.
Besides poor roads, the terrible habit of road construction in Nagaland, sane any drainage system baffles all common-sense and logic. Perhaps it will be quite difficult to find such parallels in other state-capital of India. A thing not to be proud of in the 21st century! It’s sheer madness to see roads in Nagaland without any proper drainage system, though knowing its landslide prone area.
Road construction, improvement and maintenance should be the focus on a priority basis, and only after having done well, then, let’s think of other mode of transports. It is highly suspicious that we can manage successfully (at this point) other mode of connectivity when we cannot even solve our fundamental issues, the Road.
Perhaps the wise old saying should serve us a lesson or two, ‘A bird in the hand is worth more than two in the bush.’ Off-course It shall be a glorious occasion to celebrate when we shall have an excellent road transport juxtapose along with air or rail connectivity, but please not at the expense of our life-lines. The saviour of bulk populace!

By EMN Updated: Aug 17, 2013 2:26:41 am