ITANAGAR, May 12: A large portion of the Itanagar-Hollongi national highway (NH), which had been repaired just before the nationwide lockdown was imposed, has developed major cracks following sporadic rainfall in the past few weeks.
This stretch of the highway had eroded a few months earlier and had been filled up by the Itanagar highway division, but it has developed cracks, making it dangerous for vehicles to ply on it.
Speaking to this daily, Itanagar Highway Division Executive Engineer Nani Tath informed: “When the road was falling apart, a hill had to be cut down to fill it. We could not do anything to the hill as it requires natural settlement. We water it, so that settlement takes place, and then we go for casting, and the filling of the road was done without proper compaction due to the deep gorge.”
The road “has now been left as it is intentionally for the rainwater to percolate down to create natural compaction and settlement, and a 30- to 40-metre side drain will be connected to it,” he said.
Informing that repair work is likely to begin by Wednesday, the EE said “enough percolation must have taken place by now, and I have directed the contractor to connect the drain, so that the new work does not get affected.”
Tath informed that the contractor is yet to get paid for all the work done so far, due to non-sanctioning of fund against the damages, but has assured to continue the work on request.
“We have submitted the estimate to the ministry of road transport & highways, which is under consideration as the same was also inspected by union MoS for Road Transport & Highways, VK Singh, the last time he visited.
“The minister had instructed the ministry’s regional officer that he would sanction the fund, and had asked us to go ahead with the work. We have carried out the work at his direction,” the EE said.
Officials from the union road transport & highways ministry’s Itanagar regional office (Camp Tezpur) had inspected the damages on 2 August, 2019, and the minister had also seen the damages during his maiden visit to the state capital on 28 August, 2019.