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Welcome to Neglect: Rengma youth pitch Tseminyu-Wokha’s road woes

By Our Correspondent Updated: Jun 05, 2016 12:46 am

KOHIMA, JUNE 4 : “When you go home, tell them of me, and say for your tomorrow, that you almost got drowned here today.”

That was one among the many slogans on banners that were placed by the side of the National Highway-2 between Km 41-72, covering the entire stretch of NH-2 which goes through the Tseminyu-Wokha region.

Following the failure of the Nagaland government to either widen or repair the NH-2 for more than a decade even after many appeals, the Rengma Selo Zi (Rengma Youth Organization) on Saturday organized a poster campaign to demonstrate their grievances at the government’s apathetic treatment towards them.
It was learned that the NH-2, from km 41 to km 78, beginning from Rengma area to Wokha town, had been neglected by the government for too long.

It is in the eyes of every commuter that the NH-2 was recently blacktopped from Kohima till Botsa (Km 1-40); however, the same stretch of road beyond Botsa to Wokha town was left unattended.

The poster campaign was initiated by the RengmaSeloZi under the banner Project ACT. The letter ‘A’ stands for Action, while ‘C’ stands for Changes and ‘T’ stands for Things. The project was initiated with a clarion to ‘save National Highway-2,’ said the group’s president Kenneth Kath.

Speaking to media persons today at Tseminyu town, Kenneth slammed the state government for its negligence of NH-2, particularly the 41-78 km stretch.

Kath informed the media that the poster campaign was initiated in order to lend support to the Lotha Hoho and the Rengma Hoho in their fight to develop NH-2.

“We are not against anybody, be it the government or contractors. What we want is good roads,” Kath said maintaining that “the Rengma and Lotha people won’t bother which ever contractor gets the work for developing the NH-2.”

The RSZ president also questioned the seriousness of the government and the department in concern. He said so stating that ‘something could have been done long before’ had the government been serious. It was also learned that the said stretch of road was not ‘motorable’ during the past month when there was excess rain. Going by one of the banners, it was rightly written that the stretch of road was a “No concern zone.” It can rightly be pointed out that considering the stretch of road was denied development for almost 13 years. The last ‘blacktopping’ was carried out 13 years ago, it was learned.

The president of the Rengma Hoho, Kenyuseng Tep, informed that the Lotha and Rengma Hoho had submitted several joint representations in the past. However, the government did not heed to their appeals.

“It’s been years, and when our grievances have not been addressed, we have the moral responsibility to initiate any kind of agitation to seek government’s attention to look into the matter,” the Hoho president said. “They have waited enough for the government to respond to their request.”

Though further informing that several representations have been submitted during the last three years, Tep said that the government had been offering mere ‘lame’ excuses all the time.

It was learned that the Ministry of Roads, Transport and Highways had directed the department of PWD to prepare a DPR for said stretch of road. To this, both Kenyuseng Tep and Kenneth Kath questioned the state government and the PWD department for failing to prepare said report till date.

“This is sheer negligence,” it added. It further questioned the government whether it is maintaining favoritism to some contractors during the time of tender.

“Probably, the individual interests within the department had delayed the process of development in this stretch of NH-2,” Tep stated.

It was also learnt that the Minister of PWD (R&B) had assured last year in September to construct the road within two months time, but this remains to be seen till today. The Hoho president Tep, having enough concerned for his people, was said to have approached the government “to atleast repair the road, if not blacktopping.”

Enough is enough and we won’t tolerate anymore except to press for our rights. The Hoho president was adamant that the Rengma people won’t approach or go to Kohima anymore to meet the higher ups, be it ministers or even the Chief Minister.

“Now it’s time for us to raise our voice. If they wanted to meet us, they should come to Tseminyu,” he added.

The Hoho president further informed about the next phase of agitation starting June 10, if at all the State government remains silent to their demand. The next phase of agitation, to be jointly initiated by the RengmaHoho and LothaHoho, will go to the extent of imposing an indefinite total blockade in NH-2 between Km 41-78.

“In between, if there is any communication or assurance from the government which can convince us, then we will consider the case. But if not, we have come to a point not to succumb to the government’s negligence and suffer the rest of our life,” he stated.

As for the issue between the Ministry of Roads, Transport and Highways, it is left to the government to settle the issue and brig solution at the earliest,” another member who was present said.

“The state government and politicians, when they have power/control over money, then why don’t they have power/control over development,” Kenneth said maintaining that the state government is trying to play foul on the public and thereby robbing them.

By Our Correspondent Updated: Jun 05, 2016 12:46:03 am