Kohima: A major portion of NH-29 at Old KMC dumping site caved in, following which a 45-metre stretch of the crucial Kohima-Dimapur link road was washed away on Wednesday. This is the third major sinking incident that has occurred at three different locations within a 1-km stretch of the national highway.
As per Akumdong Walling, SDO of Nagaland Public Works Department (National Highway), the stretch has caved in by as much as 30 ft.
The sinking was first recorded on Sunday, when about 5 ft of the road had caved in. Despite the restoration of a single lane, the sinking continued on Monday caving in as much 12 ft. Although fresh cuts of the road began on Sunday, the sinking followed by landslide worsened the situation.
Despite the department’s continuous efforts towards restoration, work was paused for over two hours on Wednesday due to ongoing negotiations with the landowners, after which it resumed by the evening. Walling also said that fund constraints and landowner issues are two main factors hurdling the progress of work.
“This stretch is a landslide and sinking prone area. So even the department is having a hard time and is suggesting for a new solution,” said Walling.
The SDO is hopeful that if the climatic conditions do not worsen, the road is likely to open for traffic by Thursday evening. Meanwhile, over 100 of trucks were stranded since Monday.
When asked about the preventive measures of the bamboo pole drain system applied over the years, Walling said: “The department has been using conventional methods such as bamboo piling since it is economical, more durable and retains the soil preventing erosion.” Till now, it is has been good, he said.
“We will not be applying the same bamboo piling method here [the freshly sunken stretch] because it is too steep and no machinery or even manually is not practically possible,” he added.
The alternate routes as per the traffic advisory are from Jotsoma-bypass route for light vehicles and Peducha-Tsiesema route for heavy vehicles.