| NCP questions DAN developmental claims
From our Correspondent
DIMAPUR, June 28: The deplorable condition of roads in almost all 11 districts of Nagaland including the commercial hub, Dimapur has brought into sharp focus the developmental claims of the DAN government and the comments of Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio, at the Indian Roads Congress meeting held in Kohima in May this year.
On May 31 last, Rio in his address at the inaugural session of Indian Roads Congress 197th Mid-Term Council Meeting viewed roads as the face of the nation that reflects the level of development and standard of living and also observed that roads give the first impression and image about the government and its people.
Recalling Rio’s speech, State NCP president and secretary general (NCP Northeast), Neiba Ndang, who visited the site of the collapsed bridge at Punglwa on the State Highway connecting Peren district via Medziphema, on Thursday, said the deplorable State of the Peren road and the collapsed bridge reflected the developmental claims and image of the DAN government.
Hitting out at the government for failing to provide decent and motorable roads to the people despite huge funds from numerous central agencies and sources, the NCP president said it was a shame that most of the State Highways in Nagaland are worse than rural roads in other States.
Ndang said beyond Peren district headquarter, the roads in Tening and Nsong area are a nightmare where even bullock carts cannot ply. “Has the government forgotten that Tening sub-division is also a part of Nagaland? Does the minister, minister-in charge and elected representatives of Peren district have any concern for the plight of the villagers of this area, many of whom trudge miles on foot carrying sick patients and supplies because vehicles cannot ply on these so-called roads?” Ndang asked.
On the hundreds of adhoc and casual workers and labourers employed in various departments including PWD (Roads & Bridges), the NCP leader said that though such adhoc workers are on the payroll yet they are never seen on the roads to tend to minor repairs, filling of potholes and other maintenance works.
“Most of these adhoc workers (khalasis, bidars and others) are employed in the houses of theirs bosses and department officers engaged in works like baby sitting, cooking, splitting firewood. The crores of money spent by the government in their salary are wasted”, Ndang said.
He also alleged that most of the trucks of various government departments are misused by officers for their own personal works like carrying paddy, construction materials, firewood and others.
The state NCP president also said that most of the districts share the same plight with regard to deplorable roads.
On the government’s claim of 100 per cent electrification in the State, Ndang said, “What use is it when you have electric wire connection and bulbs in your home but no power supply?”
Stating that the Peren road via Medziphema is the lifeline of Northern Zeme villages, Ndang said that the government and department in-charge should attend to the collapsed bridge near Sainik School, Punglwa on priority basis and not kept in cold storage as is the usual norm. On the alternative road including a temporary wooden bridge constructed near the collapsed bridge, Ndang said the route is not motorable during incessant rains and that the temporary bridge could be washed away anytime, as was the case some couple of days back.
It may be mentioned the old bridge over the Nneureu river, some 17km from Medziphema, reportedly collapsed after a heavily loaded GREF truck crossed the bridge on June 7 last.