Thursday, September 23, 2021
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No fear, no shame and no culture

The reaction of NHIDCL to the unprecedented developments of putting temporary sheds by the locals on both sides of the road somewhere on NH 202 from Akash Bridge to Akhegwo in connection with the proposed 2-Lane Road construction and withdrawing its activities from there thereof is a matter of concern. This road in question is very important not only to the particular area but also to the State of Nagaland as a whole for the fact that it has immense potential to have its link with the road to Myanmar. Therefore, under any circumstances no such detrimental activity be allowed to sabotage the vital road construction.
As we know it well that there is no fund for land compensation as for 2-Lane Road unlike the 4-Lane Road although the property owners are entitled to damaged property compensation. What findings the NHIDCL has highlighted about the structures which sprung up recently and possibly within the RoW of the said road in the press as appeared in local papers on 3.9.2021 is a matter of serious concern. As known that the Govt. of India provides limited fund for compensation for the unavoidable old buildings which have been in existence much before the proposed upgradation of the road, and which are now required to be dismantled for the road. We also know that there is no provision for any kind of structures so raised with the sole purpose of claiming for damage compensation.
The picture of the cluster of huts on both sides of the road in the said area being virally circulated in social media should have embarrassed the Govt. of Nagaland as such is not a pride of the State. Such incoherent behavior of the people is the result of lawlessness out of the degenerated governance. Dishonesty has become an accepted culture in the highest echelon which is now permeated down to the lowest strata in our society. The ruling class commands no more respect from the common men and many sections have now become uncontrollable.
Nevertheless, this is not the first time that the would be effected land owners have put up such ordinary or permanent structures at which none would have invested had it not been for claiming damage compensation under the upgradation of the road. Such shameful acts of greed and unscrupulousness are as equally contagious as Corona virus as the obstructionists had learnt such trick from elsewhere. In fact, the land owners through whose lands such road is passing are directly or indirectly encouraged to resort to such hoodwink business mostly due to soft paddling on the issue by civil administration. Besides, I have come across instances where the ignorant and innocent effected property owners are usually mislead by the officers handling the responsibility of assessment on the value of the damaged properties by means of offering exorbitant rate of damage compensation rather than providing rational and realistic assessment. The motive of such rampant assessment is easily understood and such mishandling indeed creates unwanted precedents. As a matter of fact, the kind of unruly conduct of the people has direct reflection on how Nagaland has been administered.
In the light of the reaction of NHIDCL and in view of the sheds so raised in that particular area, the State Govt. has to effectively handle the obstruction. The administration is expected to do justice to both the genuine and legal property owners whose properties are going to be damaged and also to the road development for its rightful passage. In the present situation, the administration is expected to handle the issue with iron hand.
The ball is now in the court of the State Govt. as to whether this mess is cleared by the administration, or else the NHIDCL will decline to take up the issue with the concerned Ministry, GoI as per the press statement. Indeed it is the responsibility of the Govt. of Nagaland to control the unscrupulous obstructionists for the sake of the proposed road which has immense importance to Meluri area in particular and to Nagaland in general.
Secondly, the NHIDCL is also found wanted in respect of the answer to the question as to whether the damage compensation is payable to the property owners whose assets fall within the road requirement area or the assets fall within the RoW as the confusion persists. The NHIDCL is also responsible for quality workmanship of all those roads which are being monitored by them as it is the sole authority in approving all the materials used for construction purpose under EPC system.
The intervention of the concerned elected representative and the concern shown by the concerned tribal organization are felt appropriate.
—Z. Lohe

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