Kezhaselie K. Kuotsu
Facilitating Team Leader
Nagaland State Women Farmers Forum
Several write ups have appeared in local dailies now and then about bad road conditions and collapsed bridges resulting in the death of some precious lives. We can easily imagine how far flung areas in Nagaland are plying their vehicles.
Here, in and around capital town of Kohima and commercial hub of Nagaland, Dimapur, the weak bridges are too risky to ply every day. In Kohima, the lifeline bridge of the New Secretariat was washed away by torrential rain 3 years back. The narrow alternative route was constructed after several months. Instead of coming up with a new vehicular road bridge, a wooden footbridge had come up. Now the public is too eager to see the new bridge to come up.
Last year I happen to come across those offices located surrounding the New Secretariat contributed some amount to repair the roads. If Delhi and state Govt. are too reluctant to rebuild the main secretariat bridge, I would suggest that all departments contribute some amount to rebuild the same to serve the public better.
Now a little below capital town about 10 kms from Kohima, Dzüza bridge is on the verge of collapsing. The foundation of the bridge had developed some cracks posing threats for vehicles to ply on, but with the help of bamboo ladder some superficial repairing were undertaken but this won’t help in the long run. The workmanship and material quality work is sub-standard.
I would suggest that from now onwards the concerned department display contractor’s/firm’s name, total amount sanctioned against the bridge at the site. Public should be made aware that the amount sanctioned was sufficient to build a strong structure or not. A contractor or firm should not take away disproportionate profit at the cost of Naga citizens. In the event of any untimely damage or collapse of the bridge, the contractor or firm should be accountable and held responsible for any lost of life or properties.
Nagaland commercial hub Dimapur is plague by weak and collapsed bridges, added by the pot holes. We can hardly differentiate whether we are on the road or river. A popular saying goes “time is money.” Likewise, earlier Kohima to Dimapur one way took us 1 ½ hrs but now it takes us 3 hrs one way alone. If we convert the times into economic terms it’s a direct or indirect exploitation.
Nagaland is internationally known for corruption and poor road condition. If the Govt. and Contractors are too indifferent and this insensitive inspite of getting fund allocation for improvement of roads and bridges which is for the welfare of the general public and benefit of all, and if it crosses the permitted limit, the vast majority of Nagas who are farmers are going to be denied of their rights and entitlements. Nagaland state is not created to boost the wealth of just a handful of vested interest persons. Consider the plight of the farmers who are bread earner of the bulk of the Naga society and rural farmers are parents of the bulk Naga future generation to come. The Naga farmers have a deep concern for a brighter and a better Nagaland tomorrow. We deserve better facilities and entitlements. We are working hard for the upliftment and enhancements of our rural economy to cope up with the rest of the nation.