Govt clarifies on ‘bad’ roads Blames ‘natural calamity’

DIMAPUR, SEPTEMBER 6 (MExN): Responding to the grievances raised by the United Sangtam Students Conference (USSC) on the road condition especially towards Kiphire and Meluri side as also the subsequent press statement made by the Commander of 15 BRTF, Col Sunil Kumar, the State PWD today clarified that the road from Mokokchung (NH-61) to Meluri terminating at Jessami (NH-150) had been with the Border Road Organization (BRO) for maintenance under GS category road since early 1970s. In a press note, Commissioner & Secretary Works and Housing Mhathung Kithan informed that after prolonged effort by the State government, the Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways declared the same as NH-155 vide its notification dated February 27 2004 and subsequently directing the BRO to hand over the same to the PWD Nagaland in the year 2005.

The Commissioner maintained that for some reasons only known to the BRO, the same was not handed over inspite of the insistence of the government of Nagaland, until August 30, 2007. It also informed that the BRO while handing over the road was unable to transfer the machineries purchased against the project.

The government maintained that the declaration of the above road as National Highway and finally taking over from the BRO was in fact an achievement of the government, which it stated was committed to providing wider and better roads to the people of Nagaland. “This project will also help in creating employment opportunities for the people of Nagaland among others”, the press note from the Commissioner stated. 

Pointing out that since the road had been taken over only on August 30, 2007, the government also admitted that the road in question was ‘very badly maintained particularly in the last one year’ and that to be fair to the BRO, it may have been due to uncertainty of who should take over the road. “In this uncertain transition period, access to maintenance funds may not have been seriously pursued”, the department clarified.

Nevertheless, the Works and Housing department begged apology of the public for this pathetic condition of the road, which it stated had been further compounded by the heavy downpour in the last one week, which has caused extensive damages to the roads all over Nagaland.

The Commissioner assured that the State PWD (R&B) was all geared up to take up the project in right earnest and that it was in the active process of accessing funds from the Ministry for the proper maintenance of the road. “Clear directions have been issued to all concerned field functionaries of the department to make the roads motorable by mobilizing all the resources at their command to have the roads open immediately for the convenience of the public”, the Commissioner informed.

As such, the public of Nagaland particularly districts of Tuensang and Kiphire have been requested to bear with the department for the temporary inconvenience caused by the monsoon and requested the public to render their support to the government for tiding over this natural calamity.