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Nagaland's Southern Angami Public Organization demands urgent repair of NH-39, alleges govt negligence

Nagaland's Southern Angami Public Organization demands urgent repair of NH-39, alleges govt negligence

The Southern Angami Public Organization (SAPO) has raised concerns over the mismanagement of NH-2/A-1. Despite multiple appeals, the road remains in disrepair, affecting communication and trade.

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NH-2/A-1 Neglect: Southern Angami Demands Action NH-2/A-1 Neglect: Southern Angami Demands Action

The Southern Angami Public Organization (SAPO) has issued a rejoinder highlighting the ongoing neglect and mismanagement of National Highway 39 (now NH-2/A-1), which has become a contentious issue among the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL), Southern Angami citizens, and the Government of India. The NHIDCL attributes the delays in road expansion and construction to landowners who have yet to receive compensation since the 18th century. Meanwhile, the Nagaland state government assessed damage liabilities and submitted compensation estimates to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) in 2022.

 

Despite multiple memorandums submitted by SAPO to various high-ranking officials, including former President APJ Abdul Kalam, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, their requests have been consistently ignored. The highway, a critical link for neighboring states and districts, remains in a state of disrepair, affecting communication and trade, particularly for Manipur State.

 

The inadequacy of the road's design, dating back to the pre-independence era, presents significant challenges for modern heavy-duty vehicles. Frequent breakdowns and disruptions occur due to the outdated infrastructure, which struggles to accommodate the size and weight of large trucks. The Southern Angami community, having allowed the use of this road without compensation for over a century, insists on the acquisition of the right-of-way for a two-lane road with paved shoulders under the National Highway Act.

 

SAPO had proposed upgrading the road to a four-lane highway in 2002, but the proposal was overlooked. It wasn't until 2019 that the government sanctioned a two-lane upgrade, which NHIDCL has failed to execute properly. Instead, NHIDCL inexplicably reduced the scope of the project, leaving stakeholders puzzled and frustrated.

 

The Southern Angami community formed a technical committee in 2020 to address these issues. Despite obtaining a No Objection Certificate (NOC) for the construction of a two-lane highway, the project was descoped, reducing the budget and compromising the quality of the work. The ongoing construction deviates from the original approved Detailed Project Report (DPR), with substandard materials and execution leading to road failures.

Edited By: Krishna Medhi
Published On: Jun 03, 2024