Establish a ‘public inquiry’
into the collapse of the Bridge
The bitter crisis within the Naga People’s Front is not only negatively impacting Nagaland State government and the people, but the state’s overall stability. This is the second political upheaval in five months. Parties involved in this imbroglio have lost any semblance of political decency and ethics. The cycle of political instability which reveals their desire to assert personal power and craving above and beyond the common good smacks of hubris in politics.
While the present crisis is being ridiculed through satire, it remains a very serious matter not to be discounted with humor.
The degrading standards of political ethics and moral discernment as demonstrated by the present political instability which is fueled by corruption is taking place at another crucial juncture. With the approaching Nagaland state elections scheduled for 2018, the manner in which the current elected representatives are behaving is a reminder for the people to reflect on what kind of leadership qualities are needed if Nagaland State is to emerge from the current unacceptable conditions.
In this midst of this political turmoil, the Naga society has been struck by a tragic tragedy.
The Chathe Bridge at 4th Mile, over Chathe River and located after Referral Hospital (CIHSR) which connects villages, educational institutions and people with Dimapur town collapsed this evening and claimed the lives of at least 4 people, including a minor. The bridge’s questionable condition which was not attended to indeed mirrors the ongoing deteriorating political situation in Nagaland state.
According to AIR, as early as June 2015, the Dimapur District administration had noted that the bridge needed repairs and feared that it could collapse without warning. Sadly, even though authorities issued a notice for immediate closure of the bridge for public use, the road after a brief closure, continued to be used. And the appeal for an alternative passage did not seem to have materialized.
Like too many situations here, people’s pleas and concerns continue to be drowned into silence by the indifference of the powers that be. Even though the arrogant abuse of power has reached a breaking point, no one seems to be listening to anyone anymore and ordinary people suffer the most.
A public inquiry is necessary to examine bridge construction throughout the State to assure that they meet safety standards established by law. The inquiry must investigate the reasons why the Chathe Bridge collapsed and publicly disclose its findings in a published report. This includes an explanation as to why despite the Dimapur District administration’s concern, remedial and alternative measures were not taken.
Indeed, time seems to have collapsed. Today, when we look at both the political climate and infrastructural conditions, we realize that they are symptomatic of the deeper crisis in which Nagaland State finds itself. Yes, stable and reliable infrastructural conditions are essential to ensuring our security and well-being. As a step towards this direction, leaders are needed who are willing to listen and understand people’s anguish, and most importantly act with reason and wisdom for the common good.
It is time for the Naga public to end our complacency and take decisive strategic steps to respond to crisis.