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Hundreds of vehicles, especially trucks were stranded after a section of the NH 29 below M/s Avilie fuel depot around two kilometres away from here sank more than ten (10) feet from late night of July 7 to past midnight of July 8.
Incessant rains on Saturday coupled with continuous dumping of earth cut from adjacent hill by the side of the road, were cited as primary reasons for the sinking of the portion of the road which also affected two households.
According to commissioner & secretary PWD Bendangkokba, who spoke to Nagaland Post at the site, though the road was maintained and monitored by department, it could not take the heavy load of tons of soil dumped by its side and with incessant rains, sank early hours of Sunday. Kohima is now approachable from two alternative routes- via Jotsoma by-pass road or via Peducha-10 mile (Wokha road).
While the Peducha-10 mile (Wokha road) can be used by all types of vehicles, the Jotsoma by-pass road will be allowed only for light vehicles.
Bendangkokba said fresh earth-cutting would be required to make an alternative arrangement on the highway. He also said it would take around three weeks to restore an alternative site for restoration of the road.
However, issues like land compensation and other related matters would have to be sorted out before earth cutting. Though not affected by the subsidence, a house nearby would be demolished when earth cutting begins.
Machinery equipments were at the site to begin restoration work.
On the other hand, OSD of NSDMA Johnny Rongmei said the State government had directed Border Road Task Force (BRTF) during the last review meeting, to maintain the Jotsoma by-pass road. He said BRTF has informed that its personnel were on the job.
Meanwhile, PWD minister, Tongpang Ozukum including Adviser NSDMA, Phukayi and district administration, police, State Disaster Management officials and PWD engineers visited the affected areas and also inspected the possible alternative roads including 10 mile to Peducha road, Jotsoma road and Forest colony Kohima.
Speaking to media persons, Ozukum said that the deputy CM, who is also in charge of Highways had earlier visited the site and instructed the administration, police, and disaster management for one way arrangement of the road. Accordingly all vehicles from Kohima to Dimapur have been diverted via Jotsoma road while vehicles from Dimapur to Kohima will take the Peducha road, till further information.
In order to construct an alternative portion, Ozukum said authorities would be meeting with private landowners to obtain needed land for the new stretch. He also said the sinking of the road was also precipitated by flooded rains because drains could not be constructed as landowners did not give lands to government.
SDRF Kohima unit was pressed into action and evacuated two families, residing near the highway. Adviser NSDMA, Phukayi extended monetary assistance to the affected families.
The District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), Kohima held an emergency meeting chaired by ADC Kohima where the officials decided to carry out the restoration works from Monday.
Kohima Police has restricted movement of all heavy vehicles on NH-29, besides regulating movement of vehicles in other categories.
As per a new traffic plan shared with media, only light and medium vehicles would be allowed from Kohima towards Dimapur via Jotsoma by-pass, while heavy vehicles would be allowed only via Forest Colony up to by-pass road from Kohima side. And only light and medium vehicles would be allowed to proceed towards Kohima from Dimapur via Peducha to Chesema.
According to the traffic advisory issued by Addl. SP and PRO, Talisunep Imchen, the traffic regulation would be enforced with immediate effect until further order.
Mokokchung: Due to heavy landslide in between Tsutapala and Aokum, Mokokchung police has advised commuters moving to or from Mokokchung to take Tuli road.