DIMAPUR, October 1: The Southern Angami Public Organization (SAPO) has appealed to the Government of India to develop a 4-lane road along NH-29 (NH-39)/NH-2 from Kohima-Tadubi/Mao in Manipur.
In a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, through the Governor of Nagaland, the SAPO said during the visit of the then President of India, late Dr APJ Abdul Kalam to Khuzama village, Nagaland, in 2002, a memorandum was submitted by JAPO ~ Japfuphiki Angami Public Organization (now SAPO) for development of a 4-lane road within the existing NH-29 (erstwhile NH-39)/NH-2, which was acknowledged and endorsed to the Department of DONER by the President’s Secretariat Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi.
Subsequently, the Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and MSMEs, Nitin Gadkari in his recent video conference on August 17, 2020 had officially accorded the approval of the 4-lanning project against NH- 29 (erstwhile NH-39)/ NH-2 from Kohima to Imphal with an estimated cost of Rs 2663 crore).
However, SAPO lamented that a segment of the 4-lane road project between Kohima-Imphal NH-29 (erstwhile NH-39) /NH-2 has been downgraded from the approved original plan under the directive of MoRTH, Government of India, NHIDCL and Government of Nagaland, citing unreasonable technical difficulties.
The SAPO maintained that the topography of Manipur and Nagaland foothills are similar in nature in almost every aspect therefore to alter and downgrade the project of Kohima-Mao/Tadubi (Manipur), which is a mere stretch of 38.9 Kms, “is not only a wrongful deviation from the approved original plan of 4-lane but also a betrayal of the hope and aspirations of the people of the region.”
The memorandum said the implementing agency is going ahead with 4-lanning road from Dimapur to Kohima in Nagaland and Tadubi to Imphal in Manipur, leaving aside Kohima to Tadubi sector and downgrading it to 2-lane only which is in contravention to the earlier agreed position of 4-lane.
Highlighting the significance of the historical NH-29 (erstwhile NH-39) /NH-2 Kohima-Imphal Road, the SAPO stated that keeping in mind its importance, the then President of India physically visited Khuzama village, which is the last village of Nagaland bordering Manipur and had given assent to convert the British Road into a 4-lane road from Kohima to Manipur.
“In Nagaland, this road is the first of its kind, catering to the highest vehicular movement and highest density of rural and semi-rural populace over a stretch of 38.9 Kms,” it said.
The SAPO appealed to the PM to reconsider the earlier Central Ministry’s directive, keeping in mind the “Act East Policy” and vision and also fulfilling the dream and vision of the then President, late Dr APJ Abdul Kalam who, it said, is considered as one of the finest and most dynamic leaders of our era.
“In the light of this, we shall be immensely grateful to your able and dynamic leadership, if you will reconsider the original and the first survey proposal for 4-lanning within this existing Road NH-29 (erstwhile NH-39)/NH-2 Kohima-Imphal road,” the memorandum pleaded.
(Page News Service)