Kohima, February 3: Forget about express highway, Nagaland may not see another four-lane road, except the ongoing National Highway-29 from Dimapur to Kohima, as the Central Government has dropped the idea of constructing such highways in hilly region.
According to a source, the Union Government has finally dropped the idea of constructing 4-lane roads in hilly region like Nagaland having loose soil and prone to erosion and landslide.
Landslide is a major disaster that keeps affecting the State during monsoon. Another major cause is depredation of forests. The Government has finally realized that such highways are not viable in a State like Nagaland, where the State Government is struggling to maintain even 2-lane roads.
After much struggle to complete the much awaited 4-lane road between Kohima and Dimapur, the Centre has reportedly dropped the idea of sanctioning such road for hilly region like Nagaland in the future. The 4-lane road which was sanctioned in October 2003 by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has not been completed yet.
There have been hue and cry from the citizens over the condition of the roads but one major factor for the bad road condition is loose soil. This has been compounded by illegal encroachment of roads, stone quarrying, poor maintenance of drainage system, illegal constructions, etc.
Nagaland and other northeastern states receives heavy rainfall, have high relative humidity and high temperature, which causes rapid weathering of rocks. As the weathering of surface rocks of the hills and mountains proceeds, the sheet flood caused by heavy rainfall removes the weathered materials and carries them down to the headward steams of the rivers. In the region, soil and environmental degradation is a big problem and this is further aggravated due to shifting cultivation practiced by the people who are socio-culturally and economically very much attached to this form of land use.
(Page News Service)