IMPHAL March 2: The National Highway 39, which is one of the most important lifelines of the state, has witnessed many unwanted incidents and NH 53, the alternative route remains largely ignored still. The public needs to address the issue of development of the NH 53 for the overall benefits and needs to raise the issue to the state and central government, a press release by Forum for Social Harmony convenor L Ratan states.
It stated that several armed outfits have used the NH 39 as a bargaining chip to pressed for numerous demands, at present more than 20 spots along the highway are used as points for collecting illegal taxes while the concerned authorities have still turned a blind eye to such happenings.
The statement has questioned whether the authorities are not interested in developing the NH 53 so that it may hinder the collection of illegal taxes along the NH 39 ,whereas it is a logical conclusion that the welfare of the public remains in developing the Imphal-Jiribam route.
It is a fact that since the last 40 years the NH 53 has remained in a deplorable state and despite the so called efforts made by past governments and the present SPF, no real progress has been made in repairing the 222 kms stretch. Yet the government aim and promises at completing the railway work within a stipulated time which is tantamount to befooling the public, the release alleged.
It further stated that several organizations demanding the repairing of the NH 53 have apparently lost hope at the attitude of the state government, mentioning that the repairing of the highway was promised to be finished on a war footing and the contract work was taken by the state from the BRTF which was later handed back to them. The snail`s pace of the work cannot meet the requirements and the monsoon will approach soon which will further make the highway impassable. It has appealed to the state government to make arrangements so that the highway is completed as soon as possible and to the general public to raise the issue.