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CM visits NH landslide area, urges BRTF to speed up work, road to open in 10-12 days

CM Neiphiu Rio (2nd from left) accompanied by NLA speaker Kiyanilie and other officials visits the landslide area on Wednesday. (NP)
Correspondent KOHIMA, OCT 27 (NPN):
Published on 28 Oct. 2010 12:19 AM IST
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Expressing unhappiness over the delay in restoring the road blocked at KMC dumping site along NH-39 due to landslide, chief minister Neiphiu Rio who visited the spot Wednesday blamed the BRTF for their slow pace work and lack of quality control.
Rio told BRTF officials led by CO 15 BRTF Col. K S Malladi that cutting off and blocking the National Highway for months was not at all sensible.
“We’ve no air or rail connectivity but only the road, and if the road is blocked like this, we’re cut off from the rest of the country….its time you allow them”-- small and light vehicle to ply on the newly cut road, he told the BRTF officials.
He also told the SP Kohima who was also present to start regulating traffic on both ends so that the ongoing works by the BRTF were not disturbed.
“I’m not going to wait till Christmas, I eat everyday and so also my people and I can’t allow the people to starve…. Nagas are very good, they didn’t shout but once they start I can’t control them,” a visibly annoyed chief minister told the BRTF officials.
He said people are suffering as prices of essential commodities and transportation cost have shot up due to the road being cut off for long.
When a BRTF officer said that incessant rain has hampered the restoration work, Rio retorted saying “rain is not pouring here alone” adding BRTF should have put additional manpower.
Rio also offered to organize a social work by bringing all the necessary equipments of the local contractors to assist the BRTF in restoring the road connectivity. However, BRTF officials said that sufficient equipments were available are being pressed into service and that there was no space for additional equipment.
Surveying the area, Rio suggested two to three stages of concrete walls had to be erected below the road to minimize landslide. He also proposed to acquire the entire landslide area including other major landslide prone areas, so that the state government could go for plantation and stabilize the area to prevent landslide. On the proposal, NLA Speaker Kiyanilie Peseyie who was also present suggested fixing a meeting with the villagers to discuss matters of land acquisition.
Peseyie also rapped the BRTF for lack of quality control in their works saying “there’s no quality control.” “No more powder and no more lipstick, you should go for quality work,” he told the BRTF.
Rio was also informed about a survey that was carried out from Peducha via Mezoma, Khonoma, Jotsoma, Puliebadze and to connect the existing road at Phesama as new alignment of the NH 39. To this, Rio said that the survey has taken seven years so far and hoped that the survey would not take two generations. “The new alignment, I don’t hope to see in my generation,” he said.
Disclosing that he would be leaving for Delhi sometime in the second week of November to meet the prime minister, Rio assured that he would take up the issue of NH-39 and the new alignment. In this regard, he asked the BRTF as well as the state department to submit all the relevant papers.
Rio was accompanied by Speaker Kiyanilie Peseyie, addl chief secretary & development commissioner, Alemtemshi Jamir, commissioner & secretary PWD, Temjen Toy, commissioner & secretary to the chief minister, L. Kire and host of other government officials.
BRTF putting in efforts
CO 15 BRTF Col K S Malladi told mediapersons that the NH 39 should be open to traffic in 10 days time. He, however, pointed out that landslide was continuing in certain portions of the new cutting which was hampering the work. He said five culverts were to be constructed along the landslide portion of the road and that works for 2 culverts were already on.
Col Malladi said that the newly cut road was the fifth time the BRTF had attempted so far, as the previous four new cuttings were carried away by the continuing slide. Stating that the landslide had affected an estimated 12 lakh square metres of land, he said stabilization of the land in slide area usually took 2 to 3 monsoons. He pointed out the various agriculture activities above and below the road as the cause of triggering the landslide and said that until people were made aware, landslide would continue to occur.
The BRTF revealed that as per record available, major landslide took place in the same area in 1945, 1949, 1967, 1985, 1989, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2008. The landslide slide often took place from Km 173 to Km 175.5 and the latest landslide took place from Km 174.84 to Km 175.150. According to BRTF’s estimation, the complete restoration of the road would cost Rs.123.66 Lakh.
It may be mentioned that the landslide was noticed on August 7 last which continued sinking everyday. Gradually, the road was completely carried away on August 20 and since then, the NH-39 has been cut off.

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