Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has asked the engineers of road projects to follow rules and formalities while taking up a project.

Inaugurating the 98-meter long and 7.8-meter width two-lane RCC T-beam bridge over Dhansiri river on Tuesday in Dimapur, Rio expressed concern that while it took two years in execution work of the bridge, the whole process involved 11 years.

The third bridge over Dhansiri River in Dimapur was built replacing the British era Bailley Bridge at a cost of over Rs 13 crore.

“If you take 11 years to complete a bridge, we can imagine the hardships the public face,” Rio stated.

Rio said that nine years were wasted for not following the formalities.

He asked the engineers to make temporary arrangements if a bridge collapses as a road project cannot be taken up without a bridge.

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He, however, expressed happiness that though it was late, the bridge was finally inaugurated.

He said this oldest bridge of Dimapur is the pride of the government and need of the public. He hoped that opening of the bridge will not only ease traffic in the commercial hub of the State but it will also enhance economic activities.

Stressing that road is the face of the state, Rio called for timely completion and quality work in road projects.

Also, expressing serious concern over encroachment of government land, Rio said, “We fight to acquire land by hook or by crook as if we are going to live forever.”

He pointed out all encroached government land at Agri Expo site at 6th Mile where pattas had been issued have been taken back by the government for the future generation. “This should be an eye opener for everyone,” he added.

Rio also pointed out that Dimapur airport could not be expanded due to land encroachment issue. He said the runway at the airport is so short that it is very difficult for big aircraft to land and added that landing and taking off is “very dangerous” due to water logging during the rainy season.

He said individual interest should not be above the public interest and asked the community to preserve government properties.

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Rio asked the Nagas to imbibe Christian values of forgive and forget and change negative attitude.

In his technical report, chief engineer, PWD (H) and incharge, urban engineering wing, Yanbemo Kithan the bridge was sanctioned by the Union Ministry of Urban Affairs in March 2009 and work order was issued in November the same year. He said the project was stalled as it took five years to get no objection certificate from the Union ministry concerned as demanded by the Border Road Organisation.

Kithan said later, the contractor refused to execute the work in the previous estimates which had to revised from earlier Rs 9.8 crore to Rs 13.74 crore. He said therefore the project got delayed.

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com