By Oken Jeet Sandham
We have come to know that Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu will lay the foundation stone of a new railway line from Dimapur (Dhansiripar) to Kohima on August 1 at Dimapur Railway Station. It is for Dimapur-Zubza Railway line.
Good news is landowners are reported to have received land compensations for this new Dimapur-Zubza railway construction. Because most of the time, the Government used to blame the landowners and now since it is reported that the compensations have been paid, there should not have any hurdle for the construction.
Earlier, we also heard that the construction of roads including the four laning of Dimapur-Kohima National Highway could not take place due to land problem. We are happy that there were reports that the land compensations had already been paid to landowners from Dimapur to Kohima for the four laning. Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari, also came last year and laid a foundation stone at Chumukedima to start for four laning works of Dimapur-Kohima National Highway. Unfortunately, until now nothing happens on the ground.
In fact, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee when he came to Nagaland in 2003 announced Rs 400 crore for the four laning of Dimapur-Kohima National Highway 39. While announcing it, he said, “We are not keeping Nagaland out of this ambitious project. Earlier, this highway network was planned to come up to Silchar. Today I am happy to announce that Kohima will also be connected to this project with a four-lane highway. The Center will spend Rs 400 crore on widening this road on national Highway 39. And the work will start next year.” It has been 13 years and the work on this ambitious four laning Dimapur-Kohima is yet to start.
Speaking of roads in Nagaland, Vajpayee, who had to travel by road to Kohima from Dimapur as his helicopter could not take off due to inclement weather, said, “I have to say that I had a firsthand experience yesterday. Mother Nature wanted me to take the road journey from Dimapur to Kohima. I was told that, of all the roads in the State, this is the best. If this is the best, it is difficult to imagine how bad is the worst.”
In this 21st Century, the world has been talking about Super Highways, electric cars, bullet trains, shopping malls, online systems, more airports, but in Nagaland what Vajpayee saw the best road while travelling by road from the Dimapur airport to Kohima 13 years ago is today in a worse condition. Today, Social Media bloggers in Nagaland are making most hilarious bashing comments from time to time on some of the bridges on this epic Dimapur-Kohima NH 39 as they are waiting to collapse anytime on its own.
Will our Chief Minister TR Zeliang and Governor PB Acharya who will be attending the foundation stone laying ceremony for the new Dimapur-Zubza Railway line on August 1 at Dimapur tell the Union Railways Minister that the new project should not become another “Dimapur-Kohima four laning style?”