Kohima, Aug. 19: Having lost faith in the government, people themselves have begun to repair roads in several places, including national highways.
However, the minister for roads and bridges, Kuzholuzo Nienu, has blamed the heavy rain for the deteriorating condition of the roads in the state.
The people of Longleng, Mongkolemba, Tseminyu, Chiechema, Tsietsama, Phesama, Zunheboto and many other towns and villages have taken up the task of repair and maintain the roads at their own expenses.
But the government has promised better roads within two to three years, which has irked the people. Last year, several organisations protested but nothing has been done to improve the roads.
Recently, the people of Phesama had helped the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to open National Highway 29, which was affected by a huge landslide. The people of Tseminyu town, Chiechema and Tsietsama repaired National Highway 61 within their jurisdictions. The state government remained a mute spectator only promising better roads. The worst affected are Longleng, Zunheboto, Mon and Tuensang districts.
Commissioner for roads and bridges Temjen Toy said they require around Rs 250 crore annually for repair and maintenance of all state highways. He said poor drainage system has affected the roads and Nienu had blamed the rain. The minister said lack of funds from the Centre has made it difficult to maintain the roads but promised to improve them with whatever amount they have.
Several organisations suggested that first the government should improve the drainage system before taking up the task of repairing the roads. The Centre had taken up a major road project in the state through Special Accelerated Road Development Programme-Northeast but had to abandon it after being alleg-edly harassed by militants.
Several organisations had opposed the state government when it decided to take up a Rs 12-crore road project, around three years back.