Duncan Basti, Dimapur
Much has been said and read in the local papers about the 4 lane road construction between purana bazaar to Chumukedima and Dimapur to Kohima. These two roads will be the first 4 lane roads in Nagaland and many of us are euphoric about these final outcome of these roads once they are completed. But when we pass through these under-construction roads,we cannot help but question ourselves who the contractors are. The contractors doesn't seem to bother or are least bothered about public convenience while executing their works.Are these roads not being constructed for the public/people?
I happened to go to Shillong while Guwahati to Shillong 4 lane road construction was underway. Here, the existing road was not damaged and vehicles were allowed to ply on it untill a new one was constructed in it's place. It makes me wonder whether the terms and conditions are same to all the contractors while awarding works by National Highway and Infrastructure Development corporation Limited (NHIDCL) or varies from state to state. The concerned department responsible for overseeing the road construction should also pull up their sleeves when the quality of roads are compromised. It is seen that many roads are in pitiable condition even before they are completed. The present Government also doesn't seem to bother at all. It is learned that the completion period is almost approaching or over , but the semblance of 4 lane road is still not visible at all. Are the contractors contemplating to abandon the project or is the Government planning to extend the completion period indefinitely? The Government can intervene by having a review meeting with NHIDCL and the contractors periodically and it has at its disposal,the power to blacklist the contractors if the terms and conditions laid down in the contracts are flouted.But their stoic silence makes me wonder whether they have had their share of the cake (famous percentage prevailing in Nagaland) thereby, having their hands tied by some few crores rupees. Unlike other parts of the country, Nagas seems least bothered about the infrastructure and development activities going on around us as though it doesn't concern them at all and the Government and contractors seems to be taking advantage of this. I feel it is high time the public and NGOs raise our voices when we are taken for a ride against our interests.