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Fatalities on Nagaland’s death highway
Staff Reporter Dimapur, Feb 2 (NPN):
Published on 3 Feb. 2011 12:38 AM IST
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The stretch of the National Highway 29 (earlier known as NH 39) particularly between Purana Bazar and Chumukedima has become the death highway of Nagaland where accidents take place at glaring regularity.
During 2010 there were 544 road accidents where 44 persons died on this particular stretch of the national highway.
During January 2011, there were 44 road accidents till January 24 in which four died. According to Dimapur Traffic Police 85% of the road accidents in this particular stretch were caused due to drunken driving or drivers driving in an inebriated state.
Another cause of concern is a significant number of deaths arose due to late evacuation of accident victims or improper handling of victims from the accident site.
This has led to realization that ambulances manned by paramedics are need to be posted at vantage points of the NH 29 say-one at Purana Bazar area and the other at Chumukedima town area to tackle road accidents. Posting of highway patrol teams to check violations of road safety in addition to deployment of ambulances could save lives on this highway stretch.
With growing population and sharply increasing number of vehicles in Dimapur, traffic congestion has become a daily affair and to add to the misery of motorists who have to cruise at snail’s pace especially from the worst ever portion between Burma Camp to Cirulcar Road/ Church road.
Indiscipline by drivers, who thumb their noses on the traffic police, is rampant, creating a menacing situation. The problem is compounded by the encroachment into the road reservation areas by people who have constructed buildings without any thought to road safety. The one-lane highway stretch between Purana Bazar and Golaghat Road turns into four-lane each day due to traffic indiscipline. This is one major cause of traffic jam sometimes lasting several hours on weekends.
Dimapur Traffic Police is woefully short of manpower and cannot handle the problem.
A Traffic Police personnel when contacted, said traffic islands in Dimapur during rush hour are manned by hardly two or at most, three traffic policemen. Presently Dimapur Traffic Police has only 55 personnel and despite repeated appeals to increase the manpower by another 65 personnel, nothing has been done. The shortage is being met by using some Home Guards personnel who have done their best but who are not trained for the particular job.

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