Saturday, June 19, 2021

No roads

Dilapidated condition of roads in almost all parts of the State is posing much inconvenience to not only the commuter service vehicles but also the pedestrians. Take for instance, Dimapur, the so called commercial capital of the State or for that matter State capital Kohima. Most roads are in a shabby shape with potholes in the middle of the roads and the footpaths proving to be major hazard to the life and property of the people. Despite the fact that the State Government issued orders for carrying out urgent repairs immediately after the new PDA coalition Government took over the helm of affairs, there appears to be no work going on to repair the roads. Rather the road condition has deteriorated further since the new Government took charge. In fact the PDA Government had promised to change the face of roads in the State within 60 days of taking over the Government by repairing roads all over the State. The 60 days target has since long passed and the road conditions all over the State has deteriorated to non-existence. There is even no semblance of roads in State capital Kohima and Dimapur, forget about the remote areas of the State. Faced with public ire and opposition charge, the ruling party has blamed the Lok Sabha by-election and the monsoon rains that caused severe havoc across the State for the Government’s inability to meet its 60-days target to improve roads in Nagaland. It claimed that the Government could not complete the road repair works because Government agencies and machineries were directed towards emergency relief operations all over the State. “The PDA Government assures that it’s commitment of good roads will not go undone, however it is only appropriate that we first combat the calamities first an then wait for the rains to subside or else it will be wasteful effort and expenditure,” said the ruling party. These are all lame excuses. The Government knew that the by-election was in the offing when it took over and as far as monsoon rains are concerned we don’t get it in November-December but in June-September. So what was the hurry to announce the 60-days road repair target, when they knew that repairing road during rainy season would be “wasteful effort and expenditure?” The point is that the dilapidated roads across the State, even on the main thoroughfares, have proved to be major hurdles for the smooth flow of vehicular traffic as well as the pedestrians, who have to pass through these areas for various purposes. Take the road stretch from Purana Bazaar to 4th Mile in Dimapur. The road is in such a bad shape that most motorists fear to pass through these areas. The road widening projects undertaken by the authorities on these roads have also become a headache for the people. Every day in and day out, one or the other vehicle hits that bad patches resulting in frequent accidents and traffic jams at peaks hours causing much inconvenience to the people. The worst affected are the school children, who are caught in traffic jams on their way and on their return from their educational institutions. Six months on after the promise of good roads within 60-days, nothing has been done. The promises appear to have fallen on deaf ears. There has not been any positive impact on the authorities, charged with the responsibility of completing repairs on urgent basis. The half hearted black-topping done in the first week of the 60-days promise have disappeared with no accountability of the contractors, who executed the work. The condition of the roads providing connectivity to rural and far flung areas is worse. If this is the situation in the 21st century in Kohima and Dimapur, the two major towns of the State, the plight of people in rural and far flung areas can be very well imagined. Under these conditions, if people take to streets to protest against the Government’s laxity on this front, it should not come as a surprise.