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Nagaland government demands urgent safety measures on Dimapur-Kohima highway amidst quality issues

Nagaland government demands urgent safety measures on Dimapur-Kohima highway amidst quality issues

The Nagaland state government is actively addressing safety concerns on the Dimapur-Kohima National Highway, especially in the Paglapahar stretch. Despite repeated efforts, the NHIDCL's compliance remains insufficient, prompting further action from the state.

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The Nagaland state Government has taken decisive actions to ensure the safety of commuters traveling along the Dimapur-Kohima 4-lane National Highway 29, particularly in the Paglapahar stretch. The State Government has repeatedly emphasized the urgent need for safety measures to the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL).

On January 22, 2024, the State Cabinet discussed the safety concerns along the Paglapahar stretch in detail. It decided to engage an independent third party to conduct a thorough study and recommend safety measures. Consequently, IIT Guwahati was engaged for this task, and their study is set to commence soon. The Cabinet also questioned the NHIDCL regarding the premature issuance of a completion certificate for Dimapur-Kohima Package-II, despite ongoing quality and completion issues.

In April 2024, the State Government directed the NHIDCL to provide a detailed report on specific safety measures implemented along the Paglapahar stretch. The NHIDCL was warned of their sole responsibility for any incidents resulting from inadequate safety measures.

Following a rockfall incident on July 4, 2023 at Paglapahar, the State Government established a High-Level Technical Committee (HLTC) on July 5, 2023. The HLTC promptly investigated and submitted its findings and recommendations to the NHIDCL on July 19, 2023. The NHIDCL was instructed to implement short-term measures and undertake a comprehensive study of the terrain to address and mitigate future risks.

In December 2023, the State Government highlighted a report from IIT Bombay’s Independent Technical Expert Committee. The report raised serious concerns about the construction practices and hill-cutting methods used, pointing out significant deviations from IRC guidelines, inadequate slope protection, poor rockfall mitigation, and non-compliance with safety and quality standards. The NHIDCL was directed to reassess and rectify these issues to ensure NH-29 is safe, smooth, and an all-weather highway.

From April 11, 2023, to June 19, 2024, the State Government has formally raised safety concerns with the NHIDCL on eighteen occasions. Despite these persistent efforts, tangible safety improvements on the ground remain lacking. Recently, another rockfall incident at Paglapahar caused injuries and vehicle damage, further highlighting the urgent need for action.

The State Government calls upon the NHIDCL to address these issues with the utmost seriousness and urgency, underscoring the collective goal of ensuring commuter safety on the Dimapur-Kohima 4-lane highway.

Edited By: sanchayaita roy
Published On: Jul 07, 2024