Editorial

Priority projects

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 1/6/2021 12:15:41 PM IST

 Since several years back, this newspaper had been focussed on two communication links that are vital for all-round progress of the state especially in the light of ‘Act East Policy’. Development cannot take place unless communication links are in place. In this regard the foothill road project that seeks to link south-western region of the state(Peren, Dimapur) with the north-central region(Wokha-Mokokchung, Mon and Tuensang) is very vital. The other vital project is the railway connectivity between Dimapur to Tizit and Tuli. Presently, the main link road is through Assam(Karbi Anglong, Jorhat, Sivasagar). The Foot Hills Road Coordination Committee(NFHRCC) formed in 2013, decided to revive the 256 kilometer road project that was abandoned by the North Eastern Council(NEC) in 1974. The NFHRCC has taken up the project on priority despite no further funds forthcoming. The state government had allotted around Rs.70 crore but the amount is a pittance. This newspaper had been highlighting the importance of the foothill road since 2013 after the Foot Hill Road Coordination Committee(FHRCC) was formed to revive the 256 kilometer project that was abandoned by the North Eastern Council(NEC) in 1974. The foothill road is not a mere dream project but a need because it seeks to cut short the travel time and distance from Dimapur –the trade and commerce centre of Nagaland-with Mokokchung, Longleng, Tuensang, Wokha, Zunheboto and Kiphire. The foothill road project is undoubtedly the most important and vital link that connects so many districts. It may be pointed out the Dimapur district and in particular, Dimapur city is the main economic and trading centre of the state and also the gateway to Nagaland. Dimapur is linked with rail, road and plane to the rest of the country and in order to extend the benefits of connectivity, road link within districts is paramount towards achieving economic progress. So many roads that have much less economic significance receive funds in terms of a few hundred crore rupees. The NFHRCC has recently appealed to 11 other apex Naga tribe bodies to donate Rs.50,000 each towards the project. The 11 Ao legislators (ten from Mokokchung district and one from Dimapur district) have taken up the matter with the chief minister. The state government appears to have failed to pressurise the Centre to take up the project as priority. The project has been excluded among priority roads recently announced by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways(MoRTH). This newspaper had earlier emphasised that the state government should accord top priority to the foothill road by taking it up with utmost urgency with the government of India for inclusion as a ‘must priority project’. However, the announcement made by the union minister MoRTH Nitin Gadkari on December 4 for road projects in Nagaland totalling a colossal Rs.4127 crore did not include the foothill road. Besides the vital foothill road, the state government also appears to have also ignored the urgent need to link up Dimapur with Tizit and Tuli by rail. The state government has not accorded priority to the proposed railway line from Dimapur to Tizit-Tuli as much as it has been doing for the Dimapur-Kohima railway line. It may also be noted that the NFHRCC came into existence through necessity and all those legislators from districts where the road passes through, should accord top priority for the people’s road.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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