Rio seeks Central approval for Trans-Nagaland Highway

Rio seeks Central approval for  Trans-Nagaland Highway
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Shillong, September 25: Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has pressed for Central approval and sanction of the proposed 2-lane Trans-Nagaland Highway (earlier known as Foothill Road) during the financial year 2018-19.
The Chief Minister raised the issue during the status review meeting of National Highways and SARDP road projects with Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari along with officials of the MoRTH at the State Convention Centre, Shillong on Monday.
The foothill road project has been divided into 3 phases. The 1st phase (Amguri to Niuland) covering a stretch of 189 kms where survey has been completed by the consultancy services and Draft Feasibility Report (DFR) submitted on July 25, 2018. The consultant for the 1st phase was empanelled and appointed by MoRTH.
The proposed 1st phase alignment of the Trans-Nagaland Highway runs similar to the surveyed Draft Feasibility Report (DFR). In this regard, the State Government has approved the proposed alignment of the 1st phase on September 21, 2018; notified the land possession of the 1st phase as per specification on September 21, 2018; and the DPR for the 1st phase is in final stage of completion and will be submitted in the 1st week of November 2018.
Besides this, the Chief Minister also requested the Union Minister for appointment of consultancy services for the remaining two phases of the project (Tizit to Amguri – 106 kms and Niuland to Athibung – 79 kms) during 2018-19.
The Chief Minister also proposed construction of 2-lane diversion including ROB from Amar Flour Mill near Nagaland Check gate to Burma camp NH 29 on EPC mode. Rio stated that the existing NH 129 and NH 29 passes through Dimapur city which is the biggest commercial hub of Nagaland connecting neighbouring districts of Assam – Karbi Anglong and Golaghat and the diversion is urgently required to ease Dimapur city traffic congestion and also provide accessibility to buses entering the Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT) which is located 700 meters away from the proposed road diversion as it will provide direct accessibility to Dimapur bound passenger vehicles and avoid the traffic congestion.
The Chief Minister further proposed that a toll gate will be installed for revenue collection for maintenance of the road and recovery of the investment made by MoRTH.
Rio also sought declaration of six roads in Nagaland as National Highways as they have been accorded “In Principle Approval”. The roads are Showuba-Guzunyu-Pughoboto-Zunheboto-Aghunato-Noklak-Pangsha – 200 kms; Trans-Eastern Highway from Mon-Longwa-Pangsha-Kiphire-Avangkhu – 280 kms; NH- 29 to NH-29 (Dimapur Bye Pass) – 2.7 kms; Gandhi Ashram-Chuchuyimlang (NH-2) to Pangsha (ITC) – 167 kms; Maibong-Tening in Nagaland to Tamenglong via Tamei in Manipur – 75 kms and Ramani Ali Simulguri – Bihubor in Assam to Mon in Nagaland – 71 kms. All these roads are under DPR preparation by the MoRTH appointed consultancy services for which they may be notified as National Highway before November 2018, Rio said. This will enable the State Government to provide maintenance of the roads on a regular basis. Presently, the roads are not maintained due to resource constraints of the State.
Regarding damage compensation, Rio informed that while it has been committed to provide land free of cost for developing four SARDP-NE roads in the State which are under implementation, it was also decided that NHIDCL will compensate for damages to property assets to the affected owners.
Presently, eligible compensation to damages are properties which include structures, buildings, plantations (bamboo, commercial trees), fisheries, miscellaneous properties like wells, irrigation canals, drains, walls, reservoir tanks, retaining walls etc.
However, the CM urged the MoRTH to direct the NHIDCL to review its present practice of deducting the amount against terrace fields, vacant buildings on the plea that the land is provided free of cost for the projects. Rio highlighted that in hilly areas, substantial investment is made/incurred for development of such assets and hence, damages to terrace fields, vacant buildings are direct loss to the owners as it gives income and serves them economically. He sought proper compensation in this regard to which the Ministry agreed during the meeting.
Regarding the Changtongya-Longleng road which has been declared as a part of National Highway No – 702, the Chief Minister informed that due to objection raised by landowners, the Chief Secretary convened a meeting with the three village councils – Sanglu, Alayong and Yaongyimchen and NHIDCL. The villages objected to the survey by RITES and requested for re-survey in presence of the land owners as per National Highway specifications. NHIDCL has agreed for the re-survey of the existing road alignment with a new consultant keeping in mind the concern expressed by the three village councils.
On his part, Nitin Gadkari reviewed the NH and SARDP road projects in Nagaland and assured to extend all possible help and assistance towards early completion of the projects. He also replied to a question raised by Deputy Chief Minister and Minister in-charge of National Highways, Y. Patton regarding the status of Pfutsero-Jessami Road and assured to provide funds to the BRO for repair and maintenance of the road.
The Chief Minister was accompanied by Deputy CM, Y. Patton and State Government officials. (Page News Service)