Kohima, February 16 (NEx): Dy. Chief Minister & in-charge of Roads & Bridges Department, Y. Patton stressed on the importance of the foothills of Nagaland which has the potential to bring about changes in the socio-economic front. He said that the main reason for the incompletion of the foothill road is the lack of the State owned resources and added that the State Government is committed to see that this is made into reality and have therefore been taking up this issue with the Government of India.
On the third day of the 7th Session of Thirteenth Assembly, on February 16, 2021, Patton said that a proposal for covering the State with a major road across the foothill areas traversing the existing roads to the best possible extent and connecting habitations of the state to provide Single lane Foothill connectivity was proposed as under:
‘Construction/Improvement of road along Tizit-Naginimora- Tuli-Yajang C- Longtho-MI Project-Sumito- New & Old Wozhu-Changpang-Yimpang- Bhandari-Governor’s Camp-Ralan(O)- Niuland- Dimapur’, covering a total distance of 342.00 Km amounting to Rs. 235.00 Crores.
Patton added that the proposal under the Special Plan Assistance (SPA) was approved by the Government of India during 2013-14 and sanctioned an amount of Rs 235.00 Crores under the Special Plan Assistance (SPA).
Accordingly, works were taken up from 2013-14 onwards as per the budget allocation only and not as per the approved amount.
• Approved Budget Provision:
2013-14 : Rs 4000.00 Lakhs
2014-15 : Rs 2700.00 Lakhs
Total : Rs 6700.00 Lakhs
However, he said that the SPA funding discontinued from 2015-16 onwards and therefore, all items of work projected in the proposal could not be taken up.
On the present status of the road, Patton said since the road is now affected by landslides, subsidence and thus, not pliable, in view of the fund constraints, no new works have been taken up since 2015-16. However, in order to make the road pliable, the Department has submitted a proposal estimate for clearance of landslides, construction of side drains, cross drains i/c minor bridges.
Patton further said that the State Government is continuously pursuing with the Central Government for release of the balance funds under the SPA so that the incomplete works are completed.
The Dy. CM also informed that during 2014-15, the State Government submitted the proposal to the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) for declaration of Foothill road as National Highway. However, the MoRTH suggested to change the nomenclature to Trans Nagaland Highway (Two Lane) to be taken up in a phased manner.
The details are as follows:
Phase I : Tuli to Dimapur By Pass- 180.65 Km
Phase II : Tizit to Tuli- 68.00 Km
Phase III : Jalukie- Khelma- 71.60 Km (Dimapur to Jalukie is connected by National Highway 129 A)
Total length – 320.25 Km
Patton stated that the feasibility Report of Phase I and II and DPR amounting to Rs.4463.56 Crores have been submitted to the MoRTH for approval. The Report and alignment has been approved during December 2018 and the State is awaiting the approval for declaration of the Trans Nagaland Highway as a National Highway. The issue of declaring the stretch of road as National Highway has also been taken up with the Prime Minister of India on September 3rd, 2020 by the Chief Minister, Nagaland. He informed that with regard to Phase III works, the feasibility study for Jalukie to Athibung is completed and from Athibung to Khelma is yet to be finalized.
The Dy. CM said that the policy for further declaration of New National Highways is yet to be finalized, while the proposal was taken up again with the Union Minister, Road Transport and Highways by the Chief Minister, Nagaland on January 19, 2021 for taking up under the Bharatmala Pariyojna project on priority.