‘Unity Gate,’ located at NH-29 Patkai bridge junction, Chümoukedima was inaugurated by Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio on November 30. (Morung Photo)
Morung Express News
Dimapur | November 30
Tourists visiting the State during the Hornbill Festival this year will be greeted by an imposing welcome gate as they cross the NH-29 Patkai bridge junction, Chümoukedima onward to Kohima. Inscribed with the words, ‘Welcome to the Hills of Nagaland,’ and christened as the ‘Unity Gate,’ the structure was officially inaugurated by Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio on November 30.
Constructed right at the entry point leading towards the hills of Nagaland, the gate stands at a height of 56.5 ft, 12 ft in breadth and 55 ft in length was constructed under the PWD (NH) Department, Kohima Division and cost about Rs 180 lakhs.
In his address, the CM remarked that the site of the gate was a crucial tri-junction point not just for the local people but for all visitors coming from across India. It has been built based on the traditional style of constructing Naga village gates. During initial building of the four-lane road, the government had actually deliberated on erecting two gates, one for entry and the other for exit, he explained.
However, due to the recurrence of landslides, which damaged a major section of the road, it was decided that a gate would be built on the ‘cliff side’ of the hill. “So that it does not lead to any obstruction,” he added.
In the true spirit of unity, he highlighted that the project was completed with help of several Naga professionals who came together to project its majestic look and design. “So I’m extremely grateful to all the people, be it government agencies, local authorities or the workers, for making this possible,” Rio said.
He also suggested that the area could be developed into an attractive tourist location filled with cafes and other outlets for the benefit of both young and old alike, if the matter was taken up seriously. As such he reminded the people of their collective responsibility to maintain the site as “it belongs to all of us.”
Providing a technical report of the project, Er Tiameren, Chief Engineer of PWD (NH) mentioned that the structure adopted for the gate is primarily reinforced cement concrete frame consisting of combined footing, raft foundations, columns, beams and slab.
It includes roof shingles on the sloping roof, decorative stone works such as cladding, dressed stone works for base and 2 carved gate monoliths. In addition, it incorporates four huge wood carvings and about six stone boulders erected as decorative element. The edifice is well-lit with flood lights and LEDs and has been protected with melamine sealer mate.
Contract work was awarded to M/S Chabou & Co with consultant being, M/S Paragon Prime.