The Nagarjan bridge was closed to vehicular traffic by the Nagaland government after major cracks and signs of breakdown appeared in June 2017. The road block has affected businesses in the area. (Morung Photo)
Morung Express News
Dimapur | October 16
Good road infrastructure is vital to boosting economic growth.
In Dimapur, over the years, Nagarjan has assumed a strategic location for business and a lot of development has been taking place in the area. But there has been a sudden breakdown of industry and commerce in the area due to the bridge which closed for vehicular traffic in the month of June this year.
“Ever since the bridge closed, businesses in the area have been badly affected. The bridge contributed significantly to the growth of businesses around the area,” Wati, a resident of Kuda village, said.
According to a few businessmen in Kuda village, they have been suffering huge losses due to closure of the bridge. Some businesses have either permanently shut or have moved to other markets. Grocery stores, restaurants, petrol pumps and other small businesses are all feeling the pinch.
The owner of a popular departmental store said that he has stopped stocking goods in large quantities as sales have slumped.
“Earlier I used to bring goods every day from town but now I’ve reduced it to twice a week,” he said. The adjoining medical store owner also said that with fewer people making stops to buy medicines, his business has been significantly hit. “With the new GST rules, I have to pay for refunding expired medicines and therefore it’s a double loss for my business,” he stated.
Smaller businesses like tailor shops, beauty parlours and food carts now have fewer customers except those who live within the locality.
“The future of our business lies in that bridge which, I don’t believe, will be ready in the next two to three years,” a restaurant owner remarked.
One man’s loss is another man’s gain
While business in Nagarjan area is at a low, it is good fortune for businesses on the other side of town. There has been manifold increase in business for traders along the Thahekhu-Rangapahar road. Increased vehicular movement along that stretch of road has led to more people making more stopovers and most shops are doing better business than before, it is learnt.
Moreover, several new shops including vegetable marketing sheds and butcheries have mushroomed along the way right up to the Green Park junction. Old marketing sheds have also seen increase in number of vendors.
While it is a ‘make hay while the sun shines’ situation for some people, unless the Nagaland government takes stock of the State’s crumbling infrastructure, the long term effects will push more people and their businesses into misery in the years to come.