From bad to worse

[ Junroi Mamai ]

Travelling on NH 415 between Itanagar and Naharlagun has become a nightmare for the capital’s dwellers, and it seems that there will be no respite for them any time soon.
Even though TK Engineering & Consortium Pvt Ltd late in August gave its assurance to resume work on the highway from the first week of September, progress is nowhere to be seen and commuters are still compelled to take the back-breaking journey between the twin capital cities. Two- and four-wheeler drivers face a tough time navigating the muddy, pothole-riddled road where accidents are prone to occur if the driver is not careful.
The condition of the highway worsened during this monsoon, especially with the large-scale formation cutting work undertaken between Itanagar and Naharlagun for widening the highway.
It is not unusual that every year, during and after the monsoon, the condition of the roads deteriorates, parts of the roads give in to landslides, and gaping potholes start to appear everywhere, making daily commute more difficult with each passing day. However, there was hope that there would be better and well-maintained roads in the capital complex regardless of the annual phenomena when the state government had announced its decision to widen NH 415 between Itanagar and Naharlagun into a four-lane highway. Unfortunately, work on the highway is progressing at a snail’s pace as the executing agency continues to blame the monsoon and inconsistent weather pattern for the delay.
The construction work being carried out by TK Engineering & Consortium, the contractor for the 10.50 km Chandranagar to Papu Nallah four-lane highway, working under the supervision of the state public works department, is running behind schedule since November 2017, and it will be impossible for it to complete the project on time if it fails to pick up the pace soon. A majority of the work still remains pending. The construction company had in August this year claimed that the stretch of the road from IG Park to the secretariat, and the one from Akashdeep to Chandranagar would be layered in the beginning of September, but the people are yet to witness any work on the said portions of the road.
Earlier, the construction company had informed that it was set to complete the project by September 2020, but later the deputy chief minister, concerned over the current pace of work, directed it to hasten its pace of work and complete the Rs 196.19-crore project by March 2019.
Meanwhile, considering the rate at which construction work is progressing, and the fact that repair work on the road has not been taken up since ages, the condition of the road will only get worse from now on if the construction company does not resume its work soon.