Almost a decade has elapsed since the ambitious proposal for a “ring road” encircling Mokokchung town initially ignited hope among its residents. Despite being dubbed the ‘Northern Peripheral Road’, and despite years of assurances and discussions, the project remains no more than a distant dream.

(Representative image)

The concept of a ring road, aimed at alleviating traffic congestion and enhancing connectivity within Mokokchung town, was first approved by the Mokokchung District Planning & Development Board (DPDB) in 2015. Stretching 10.5 kilometers from NH-2 at Tsusapang sector to NH-702D at Khensa village, the project was estimated to cost approximately Rs. 24.90 crore, according to preliminary surveys. The road was supposed to skirt the edges of Mokokchung town on the northern side, touching the periphery of Tsusapang sector of Mokokchung village, Alempang ward, Dilong Ward, Salangtem Ward, Kichutip ward, Yimyu Ward of Mokokchung Town and ending at Khensa village.

Earlier reports indicated that the proposed road would be a standard single lane, with a carriageway of 3.75 meters in width and a formation of 7 meters.

Former Mokokchung Deputy Commissioner, Sushil Kumar Patel, expressed optimism about the project’s necessity, foreseeing heightened traffic congestion in the town within five years. He emphasized the road’s role in future urban planning, facilitating transportation, and accommodating new infrastructure developments.

During Mokokchung town’s 125th-anniversary celebration in 2015, then Chief Minister of Nagaland, TR Zeliang, endorsed the project as a genuine requirement, pledging to seek central government funding. The Public Works Department (PWD) R&B Division of Mokokchung has since prepared the project’s concept note and submitted it for government approval.

In 2015, the Mokokchung Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) met with the North East Council (NEC) Secretary Ameishing Luikham, receiving positive feedback and prospects for funding the ring road project through the NEC. The MCCI was encouraged to collaborate with the Mokokchung Deputy Commissioner to advance the proposal.

Yet, as the years passed, in 2021, DPDB Chairman Tongpang Ozukum was reported proposing constructing a ring road to bypass the main town, citing rapid development and escalating traffic congestion. And in 2023, Advisor Temjenmenba reiterated the elected representatives’ commitment to addressing traffic congestion through the construction of a ring road.

Northern periphery of Mokokchung town

However, the vision of a ring road, once hailed as a catalyst for development, now languishes in uncertainty with no positive news in public domain, casting doubts on the efficacy of planning and implementation processes. As Mokokchung continues to grapple with traffic congestion, the dream of a smoother, more connected Mokokchung town remains frustratingly out of reach.

Mokokchung Times

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