TR Zeliang underscores road connectivity to Tuensang town
KOHIMA — Deputy Chief Minister of Nagaland, TR Zeliang, on Thursday, said that road connectivity to Tuensang town is still in very poor condition and needs immediate attention.
He remarked this while attending the Poanglum Mini-Hornbill Festival 2024 at Parade Ground, Tuensang, as a special guest.
At the event, which was organised by Chang Khulei Setshang, Zeliang, who is also the minister in charge of National Highways, drew attention to the intermediate road project that is in progress between Mokokchung and Chare town in Tuensang district.
Zeliang said he had travelled on the route the previous day and expressed hope that the contractor would complete the project within the stipulated time.
“Now the bottleneck is NH-202 from Chare to Tuensang town. The Department of National Highways, NPWD, is trying its best to expedite the process for early sanction of this project, and hopefully, by the end of this month, all the nitty-gritty can be done and the full DPR can be submitted to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH),” he said.
According to the minister, one of the immediate measures he took up after the 2023 election was the issue of land compensation. He said that the people of Nagaland have been deprived of land compensation for the last five years due to some ‘unwanted bureaucratic decision.’
However, after a series of meetings, the State Government issued a notification that ‘henceforth’ land compensation will be paid to all the landowners wherever land is acquired for building national highways, he said.
“And this is one of the reasons why the NH-202 project is also being delayed a little,” he added.
Agree to govt. rates on land compensation
The deputy chief minister also urged all village councils and area leaders to ensure that stakeholders accept the land rates fixed by the government and not demand exorbitant rates.
Zeliang informed that during one of his meetings with MoRTH officials, the officials explicitly stated that the amount paid for damage and land compensation cannot exceed the cost of the civil works and that only 20-30% of the total cost of the project should constitute compensation.
In this context, he urged all stakeholders to cooperate and allow the project to be completed without delay for the benefit of the people, once the project for the two-laning of NH-202 is sanctioned and the assessment committee for the damage and land compensation completes its cost assessment.
He went on to say that the proposed two-lane NH-202 project, which runs from Chare to Kuthur Village and from Chendang Saddle to Anatanger (Thikir Village), would greatly benefit the people of the district and the ENPO area in general.
He also stated that minor short-term maintenance will be performed regularly between 0.00 km in Mokokchung and 177 km in Tuensang.
Be cultural ambassadors
Meanwhile, Zeliang lauded the Poanglum Festival organisers for including many indigenous games and activities, adding that it will help keep their tradition and culture alive.
He also encouraged the youth to continue to be proud of their rich traditional and cultural practices and to be cultural ambassadors wherever they go.
The deputy CM noted that while each Naga tribe have their own festival, which is celebrated at different times of the year, there is no common Naga indigenous festival, which would have been very beneficial in promoting brotherhood among the various tribes.
Against this backdrop, he maintained that the much-celebrated Hornbill Festival is now not only nationally recognised but also has the attention of the international community, and he expressed delight that the tribal festivals are now an extension of the Hornbill Festival under the name Mini-Hornbill Festival.
Tuensang town, according to Zeliang, has produced renowned personalities who have played important roles in shaping the state. In this regard, he urged the current generation to reflect on the past and strive to emulate the greatness of previous leaders.
Lima Onen Chang, MLA, hosted the event, which was marked by indigenous games and songs.
Deputy Commissioner of Tuensang, Lithrongla Tongpi Rutsa, also addressed the gathering.