Dr Asangba Tzudir
The condition of roads in Nagaland is such that the effect in the aftermath of the monsoon showers presents a case of the roads similar to the craters in the moon. And the same road which is considered as a road is hard to be classed as a road in reality.
While people in the urban areas suffer from the deplorable condition of roads filled with potholes, the far rural areas cannot complain about potholes because there is hardly any road in the real sense of the term. This has led to an overwhelming gap between different communities including knowledge gaps, the rural-urban gap, the economic gap etc. It has happened because Nagaland has failed to bridge the gaps and mostly because of either lack or poor road connectivity.
Proper development of roads is the only means of bridging the gap because roads are the living chain and an undeniable source of development towards creating a socio-economic well-being. Proper roads and connectivity are vital to socio-economic reforms and development in terms of economic transformation through increased social mobility, booming market, production of consumer goods, reduced poverty which will result in a transformed way of life.
Besides the curtailment of mobility, the condition of the roads has largely hampered the economic and social progress of the state and along, it has only led to further disconnect and isolation. Nonetheless, because of the deplorable condition of roads, the people are facing untold hardships though it does not suffice to simply say that the people are facing untold hardships and suffering.
In context, as a point of departure, there is need for more ‘developmental decentralisation’ so that there is better connectivity, outreach and equitable development throughout Nagaland. This has led to a kind of serious developmental discontentment which is also attested by the so many forms of divisions today on various lines.
What is imperative in the process of social and economic transformation and bridging the widening gap is the coming in contact with other socio-economic groups or people from different districts, and this in turn, inculcates a sense of being a part of the larger project of inclusive prosperity, progress and development. These are incentives to augment socio-economic development and a sustainable growth. And so, the developmental model needs to be envisioned on this.
Within the envisioning of the developmental model is also the need to have a road maintenance plan. The same is true for the Electrical department. Had there been a proper road maintenance plan, the public would not have to wait till the roads become road-less, having to wait till the blacktopped road is washed away.
While the lack of proper roads has only deprived a ‘qualified’ life of many especially those in the villages, on the whole, the ‘lack’ presents a major ‘stumbling block’ in the emergence of Nagaland as a properly connected socio-economic powerhouse.
(Dr Asangba Tzudir contributes a weekly guest editorial to The Morung Express. Comments can be mailed to email@example.com)