Nagaland legislators along with Finance minister

Kohima: Days after the conclusion of the state budget session, a few Nagaland legislators met with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to request special allocation for the Trans Nagaland Highway, known as the Foothill road.

Adviser IT, Science and Technology, NRE, Mmhonlumo Kikon took to Twitter to inform about the meeting. “Had the wonderful opportunity of meeting the Hon Union Finance Minister @nsitharaman with my colleagues! Among other things requested for special allocation for the Trans Nagaland Highway. I thank her for listening to our collective voice,” Kikon tweeted on Tuesday.

During the recently-concluded state Assembly, deputy chief minister Y Patton, who is also the minister in-charge of roads and bridges, said that the foothill road, besides convenience for travel, also has the potential to bring about changes in the socio-economic front for the people.

In 2013, a plan to provide the foothill connectivity was embarked, and a proposal for ‘construction/improvement of road along Tizit-Naginmora- Tuli-Yajang C- Longtho-MI Project-Sumito- New & Old Wozhu- Changpang-Yimpang-Bhandari-Governor’s Camp-Ralan (O)- Niuland-Dimapur’, covering a total distance of 342.00 Km. amounting to Rs 235 Crore was made.

The proposal under the Special Plan Assistance (SPA) was approved by the Government of India during 2013-14 and an amount of Rs 235 Crore was sanctioned and accordingly, works were taken up from 2013-14 onwards as per the budget allocation only and not as per the approved amount. The approved Budget Provision for 2013-14 was Rs 4000 Lakh and Rs 2700 lakh for 2014-15.

Patton had informed that the SPA funding discontinued from 2015-16 onwards and all items of work projected in the proposal could not be taken up. The works that were taken up as per the budget provisions include 129.60 Km length of Road Formation Cutting/Embankment of the unconnected portion which was taken up and completed; and the Construction of 2- Lane RCC Bridge (134.80 M Span) over Doyang River near Governor’s Camp which is still under progress.

The work order for the Bridge was issued during March 2014, but due to various reasons, including discontinuation of SPA funding, the contractor temporarily suspended the work during 2017-18. Patton said that the contractor resumed the work during October 2018 and the works are in progress. The overall progress of works is 70.66 %, Patton had stated in the Assembly.

At present, the road is affected by landslides, subsidence and is not pliable. Patton said that given the fund constraints, no new works have been taken up since 2015-16.

The Department has submitted a proposal estimate for clearance of landslides, construction of side drains, cross drains and so on including the balance amount required for the completion of the Doyang bridge amounting to Rs 143.67 Crore which is under examination.

During the discussion on the foothill road in the recently concluded state Assembly, Kikon had also requested the minister in charge of roads and bridges to investigate why only 70% of the work has been completed so far, despite the work order being issued in 2014.

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