Tuesday, June 15, 2021
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The Forgotten State Highway

On the morning of August 20, 1976 between 8.00 – 9.00 AM, the Dimapur – Imphal Road (so called National Highway 39) in Jotsoma territory and the Bye-Pass (the then Military Bye pass) was swept away at a time. There was no alternative road, not even a Jeepable road.
There was Emergency all over India at that time, and President’s Rule in Nagaland, the Legislative Assembly having been dissolved. Only the Speaker remained. The two Advisers to Governor, Shri Murkot Ramunny and Shri H. Zopianga were at the realm of affairs.
Having explored all avenues, the GREF entered into an agreement with Jotsoma Village on August 23 and as a result cut a three kilometer Byepass from the main road to link with the Jotsoma – Khonoma Road, and made vehicles pass through.
The Public Works Department (PWD) also had an emergency meeting on August 24, and as a result entrusted the Executive Engineer, South Division, Er. AS Shishak to make a survey for an alternative road from Mezoma to Sechü – Zubza via Sechüma Village. Subsequently, Er. AS Shishak submitted his report of the ability to construct a road within one month by following the BDO Sentsi alignment, provided enough dozers were made available.
The PWD Secretary, Shri Jakhalu and Chief Engineer, PWD, Er. Tongpang had an emergency meeting with the Advisers to the Governor Shri M. Ramunny and Shri H. Zopianga on August 26, 1976 at 2 PM, and issued an order to immediately construct an alternative State Highway.
Immediately, from both sides of Mezoma and Sechüma two dozers each were provided and started digging the road; and in a span of 25 days it was completed.
Since then every year the Legislative Assembly would pass budget for the road and even made it possible for heavy vehicles to ply. The Khonoma – Mezoma Military Operation Road above was since then abandoned. Gradually, the road extended to Kiruphema and Peducha (Lalmati).
Even since 1990, the Dimapur – Imphal Road has been continuously plagued with heavy and destructive landslides. The State Government has forgotten the only alternative road to the National Highway 29, the State Highway from Kohima to Peducha (Lalmati) via Jotsoma, Khonoma, Mezoma, Sechüma, and Kiruphema. Naga leaders and high officials in whose time this State Highway was constructed, namely Er. Tongpang, Er. Y. Chuba and former Chief Ministers Dr. S.C. Jamir and Dr. Shürhozelie are still alive. Please remember this road again.

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