3 tribal apex bodies urge CS to issue NOC to NHIDCL for upgrading 4 roads

DIMAPUR, SEP 14 (NPN) | Publish Date: 9/14/2020 12:51:13 PM IST

Three tribal apex bodies– Sumi Hoho (SH), Chakhesang Public Organisation (CPO) and Pochury Hoho (PH)– have appealed to chief secretary Temjen Toy to issue No Objection Certificate (NOC) to National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) for repair and maintenance of Mokokchung-Zunheboto, Chozuba-Phek, Meluri-Phek and Changtongya-Tuli roads. 

In a letter to the chief secretary and signed by its president Hekhushe Shikhu and general secretary I Nikheto Jimomi, SH pointed out that the Mokokchung-Zunheboto road, which was commercially very important and an alternate route to Kohima, Dimapur and Assam for emergency duties and for Zunheboto district, remained one of the most neglected roads and was almost not pliable. 
SH said if the road was properly maintained or upgraded, it would greatly encourage many enterprising youth from the district as they would be able to transport raw materials, which were cheap and easily available, and market their finished products too, thus boosting the local economy that would benefit not only the people of Zunheboto district but also neighbouring districts. Considering the strategic, economic and social exigencies, SH stressed that undertaking and expediting maintenance and upgrade of the road at the earliest.
In a separate letter, Chakhesang Public Organisation (CPO) urged the chief secretary to give due consideration to Chozuba to Phek and Phek to Meluri road which it claimed was the economic lifeline of the region. Not only in terms of connectivity or administrative convenience, the organisation said this road was also important to elevate the socio-economic condition of the people. Hence, it stressed that keeping the road wide and pliable through a competent agency like NHIDCL was indispensable. 
Signed by CPO president Mikha Kenye and general secretary Veduvo Rhakho, the letter stated that the road would provide shorter route to the capital and facilitate economic growth. Further, as the road was vital for infrastructure projects like the upcoming hydro-electricity project on Tizu river and industrialization in mineral belts, which would require transportation of heavy machinery, the organisation said the road should be properly maintained through a competent agency.
Recalling that the Chozuba to Phek and Phek to Meluri road was made during British rule through which Japanese troops marched towards Kohima during World War-II in 1944 and the places along the route witnessed many historical events that are of national and international importance, CPO said the road could help facilitate growth of local tourism.
As the road holds immense importance, the organisation appealed to Toy that the responsibility of its maintenance should be entrusted to a competent agency.  
On the other hand, Pochury Hoho president Chulekhu and general secretary Er Vichutho Nyusou sought the intervention of the chief secretary considering how vital the road is to the people of the region. 
It may be mentioned that the Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) through NHIDCL is engaged in development of national highways and has decided to undertake repair and maintenance of the four roads. 
However, despite fund having sanctioned, the initiative to develop those four roads have come to a standstill in the initial stages itself as NHIDCL has not been able to obtain NOCs from the State departments as bidding process will be concluded only after the receipt of the certificates. 
According to reliable sources, NHIDCL had written a letter to the chief secretary seeking NOC for the four roads. However, NOC was not issued on the ground the “all these roads are either in the process of tendering, IRQP in progress, strengthening works in progress or under process for two-laning under the NPWD (NH) establishment”. 
It has been learnt that MoRTH has sanctioned more than Rs 150 crore for repair and maintenance of the four roads. And if the fund is utilised properly and the roads are upgraded, people of not only the three districts but the entire State would be greatly benefited. 
However, on expiry of the project implementation time, the fund sanctioned for the four roads will be returned to the Union ministry on the ground that the money was not utilised, and the ministry may not be keen to reconsider the proposal for upgrading those roads again once the money is returned. 
Sources said NHIDCL would conduct survey, prepare detail project report and convert the four roads into two-lane roads once the State department concerned provided the NOC. 

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