In a letter to Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio expressed serious concern on the condition of roads and bridges maintained by the BRO.
The outburst by the State government came after the Chakhabama-Pfutsero bridge near Sedzii River had collapsed on May 2 due to poor workmanship and delayed tactics by the BRO on maintenance of retaining wall and road near SKV petrol pump in the heart of Kohima.
In his letter to the Union minister, Rio demanded an immediate inquiry into the incident and strict action against the erring officials.
After inspecting the site at SKV petrol outlet and finding the poor and substandard materials used for construction of the road and the wall, the chief minister called for immediate suspension of the work. Both the bridge and the road are maintained by 15th BRTF.
Officials from the BRTF said a Technical Board of Officers from Project Sewak, under Ministry of Road Surface Transport and Highways, had already begun a probe into the collapse of the bridge. The officials said works near SKV started only on April 21 and that they were awaiting sanction from the ministry concerned.
State government officials led by commissioner & secretary to the chief minister L. Kire, commissioner & secretary (Works and Housing) M. Kithan, Engineer in Chief (Works and Housing) Er. N. Chielie and KMC chairman Menuovilie visited the site near SKV petrol pump on Wednesday. They expressed strong resentment over poor workmanship and expressed apprehension that the retaining wall and the road might sink any time.
"The State government is in complete darkness and does not know what the BRO has been doing in our State," an official told media persons. He demanded the BRO brief the State government on the works it (BRO) had carried out in Nagaland.
Meanwhile, the BRO is reported to have decided to change the materials used in construction. The government officials claimed the decision meant the BRO was using inferior quality of materials.
In his letter to Antony, the chief minister stated "I write this letter to apprise you of the deplorable condition of the roads maintained by the Border Roads Organization in Nagaland. It has been observed that the quality of workmanship by the BRO has deteriorated in the recent years and at present it leaves much to be desired".
Along with the letter, Rio enclosed some photographs of the bridge that collapsed. He said the location was on National Highway-50 that passes from Kohima to Jessami near Chakabama Army Cantonment on way to Pfutsero, serving as the lifeline to four districts of the State.
He also mentioned that a sinking area on National Highway-39 in the heart of the capital town was being attended to using substandard materials.
(Courtesy: Nagaland Post)