It has been learnt that there is a proposal for realignment of the existing NH-702D (Mokokchung-Mariani Road) at chainage 66.00 Km Chungtiayimsen to Longjongkong (New Camp) at chainage 30.00 Km. The distance between the two points along the existing route is 36 kms.


It has also been learnt that there is a proposal to turn the said stretch of the road into a 2-lane highway for which realignment surveys have been undertaken.


The realignment is learnt to be necessary because the gradient along the existing route needs rectification and there is no scope for widening as per the topography.


Changki village is located right above the road and any activity of road widening exercise would disturb the stability of the village.

The PWD (National Highways) has already surveyed for realignment of the road and has proposed 5 options. Here, Option-1 is the existing route which measures 36 Kms. As per the department’s comparative statement, the gradient needs rectification, the topography is difficult and soil stability is prone to sliding. The second option follows the existing route but it is realigned from Mekokla Junction to X-Junction which extends the distance to 46 Kms. The third option is to realign the route from Longnak to X-Junction which according to the comparative statement also measures 36 Kms, the gradient and topography manageable and the soil stable. The fourth option is realignment from Watiyim to Longjongkong via Mangkolemba. Here, the distance is reduced to 26.5 Kms and both gradient and topography can be managed as per the comparative statement. The fifth option is to realign from Watiyim to North of Mangkolemba town crossing Mongchen and Khar villages. The distance as per this option measures 43 Kms.

However, in pursuant of a meeting held on February 10, a Joint Survey team was instructed to ascertain the feasibility of all of the above 5 realignment options.


Interestingly, the government notice dated February 11 made a point of reference and cited demerits of the second option. This team conducted the survey to ascertain the feasibility of alignment as per Option-2 on February 17. The team observed that there is a feasibility for this option and that the length of the road would be reduced by around 14 Kms. The team observed that the total length of the proposed new alignment will become 32 Kms, compared to the earlier proposed length of 46 Kms.


Again, after 4 months, the government has constituted a High Level Technical Team to re-survey the feasibility of all alignment options. Whatever be the reason behind this move, it indicates that there is some push-and-pull going on behind the scene.


This could end up in shelving the 2-lane construction proposal and the common people will be at the losing end. It is hoped that good sense would prevail and construction of the 2-lane highway begin sooner than later.

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