Against poor roads condition in Zunheboto, 17 villages held protest

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Against poor roads condition in Zunheboto, 17 villages held protest

Kohima: 17 villages under Pughoboto, Sataka and Atoizu constituencies in Nagaland’s Zunheboto district took out a peaceful rally on Saturday to protest against the bad condition of roads in these areas.
A ‘public forum’ of 17 villages living under Section-(3) of the Showuba-Pangsha (East-West Corridor Road) staged a protest at the EAC headquarters in Saptiqa town under Zunheboto district on Saturday.

According to the forum, the bad roads depict the unfulfilled promises and underdevelopment of the area, a focal point for their pursuit of justice. The Forum submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Chief Minister TR Zeliang, the minister incharge of National Highways and Planning Transformation, through the Deputy Commissioner of Zunheboto.

Public Forum of seventeen villages Convenor Vitoho Zhimo explained that a two lane road project under East-West Corridor Road from Showuba to Pangsha proposed to connect with the Indo Myanmar border was supposed to go through Mukalimi village till Zunheboto, covering the 17 villages.

He said the National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL), the implementing authority concluded that the alignment should be taken where there is majority population to facilitate and benefit the people.

However, he alleged that the NHIDCL changed the route and is focusing only on one village, that is Chishilimi bypassing Khukiye-Lukhai and Satakha town which is also overlapping with the existing NH 702 (A).

The convenor maintained that Chishilimi village has a modest population of over 1000 whereas, the 17 villages consist of over 20,000 population.

Against poor roads condition in Zunheboto, 17 villages held protest

He said that NHIDCL is turning a blind eye to the majority and disregarding the hardships faced by the inhabitants by giving priority to a single village while, overlooking the struggles of the other impoverished villages.

The Forum alleged that the NHIDCL shifted the route from the initial plan by submitting false reports of its survey stating that the route encroaches the Ghosu Bird Sanctuary upon which the Forum had lodged complaint.

A four-member team was constituted to survey the claims of NHIDCL and their report confirmed that the route through the 17 villages does not encroach any Departmental Forest Purchased Land, Government Reserved Forest, Protected Forest,Community Reserve, or Wildlife Sanctuary. They alleged that the report of NHIDCL appeared to be unfounded.

Accusing the NHIDCL of fabricating reasons to further their ulterior motive and neglect the legitimate need of the 17 villages, he said that the NHIDCL has failed to resonate with the sentiments of the local inhabitants.

Zhimo remarked that the 17 villages have been facing untold hardships for more than fifty decades as the people are yet to be provided with a reliable and all-weather roads. The lack of good infrastructure has resulted in immense hardships to the people, who have been eagerly awaiting the establishment of good road in this vicinity as per the leader. “Many people who could have been saved have lost their lives due to the road conditions,” he added.

Zhimo cautioned NHIDCL that if it does not implement the proposed two-lane project connecting the seventeen villages, the forum would pursue and resort to any further lawful means for the implementation of the project.

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