Dimapur, December 8: The Dimapur Ao Youth Organization (DAYO) has expressed dismay that the Government of Nagaland has introduced 14 National Highway Projects worth Rs 4127 crores confined only to a certain geographical area while totally ignoring one of the oldest and most important connectivity roads in the State – the Foothill Road.
In a press release, the DAYO said the Foothill Road that runs through various districts of the State without touching Assam assumes greater importance, especially during recent times as at least 11 Naga tribes are constantly being held at ransom by the people of neighboring Assam through imposition of economic blockade at the drop of a hat just because we are compelled to pass through Assam.
“This Foothill Road has been surveyed and construction began as early as 1974 but unfortunately it is yet to see the light of the day even after 46 years. While appreciating the leaders of yesteryears who had a vision to build such a magnanimous project, it is very sad that in spite of 57 years of statehood we still have many districts living at the mercy of others because of the incomplete foothill road connectivity,” it said.
Stating that the Foothill Road Coordination Committee has been doing a commendable job thus far while also acknowledging the previous NPF-II Government under the leadership of the present Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio, which had sanctioned Rs 70 crores for the same, the DAYO lamented that other than that the project is stagnant without any further fund allocation and the affected districts continue to be at the mercy of other states.
“Also, equally astonishing is that there are 48 MLAs representing those areas that are traversed by the foothill road connectivity and they choose to remain silent when the recent mega projects did not include the Foothill Road connectivity,” it stated.
Appealing to the present Government to give top priority towards the completion of the foothill road at the earliest as only a very short stretch of the road is lying incomplete, the DAYO appreciated the resumption of the bridge construction over Doyang River and said it expect timely completion of the same.
“This will immediately benefit Mon, Tuensang, Longleng, Mokokchung, Zunheboto and Wokha districts who are being constantly harassed while crossing Assam. The silence of the citizens of those affected by Assam bandhs should not be taken as a sign of weakness but as patience and anticipation towards the State Government with the greatest hope that the unfinished works are completed at the earliest.”
DAYO also put on record the philanthropic contribution made by ABAM (Ao Baptist Churches Association) in donating Rs 36,56,282 in 2019 towards the early completion of the road. “However less or much the amount might be, the state Government cannot choose to remain silent when even the Churches have come up with such donation along with prayer and fasting as early as 14th August, 2013 for the early completion of the foothill road,” it said.
While waiting for another mega project for a super highway, DAYO said the State Government should have the political will and sanction from its contingency fund to enable motorable roads before the onset of monsoons, especially with the recent Tsutapela gate economic blockade and plight of the general population. (Page News Service)