`Jiribam-Tupul BG work progressing against odds`

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by Meghachandra KongbamGUWAHATI, March 30: In response to the news item published in The Sentinel on March 8, 2011 under the headline “Is Jiribam-Tupul BG dropped from national project?” NF Railway PRO (Con) DC Borah clarified that the foundation stone of Jiribam-Tupul BG line was laid by the Prime Minister in November 2004 and declared the project as a national project. “The project has not been dropped from national projects.
The final location survey has since been completed. Like other national projects in the Northeast, the Jiribam-Tupul project is also getting fund from the Northeast Region Rail Development Fund. In order to expedite the progress, separate offices have been set up at Jiribam and Imphal each under the supervision of a deputy chief engineer.
The physical work is in progress from both Jiribam as well as Imphal end. 654.462 hectares of land against 1160.56 hectares, 162.47 lakh cum earthwork against 439.61 lakh cum, 7.40 km formation against 84 km, 27 minor bridges against 89, 2 ROB/RUBs against 8 have been completed up to date.
The work is at different stages of progress in 16 out of 35 tunnels. Work is being planned for other tunnels also,” Borah said, and added: “…the progress of work has increased tremendously in about the last 2 years as seen from the following achievements: (i) Final location survey completed for the remaining 40 km stretch, (ii) sanction of detailed estimate (DPR) for remaining 71.4 km out of 97.9 km, (iii) starting work from Imphal end as well apart from taking up works in difficult hilly terrain including that on 16 tunnels, (iv) and presently about 75 excavators, 250 hywas/typpers, 15 dozers, 15 rollers, 7 rocket boomers, 7 shotcrete machines, 1,500 skilled workers and working round the clock to meet the target date on March 2014.”
Borah further said that the progress of works has been badly hampered due to the prevailing security scenario in Manipur coupled with frequent bandhs and prolonged economic blockades. This apart, he added: “The bad condition of NH-53 and weak/damaged bridges have also hampered the works…It will not be out place to mention that there has been sharp increase in the number of untoward incidents created at this project site by militants. There have been six serious incidents from October 2010 onwards, the latest being on February 8, 2011 when the site manager of a railway contractor was shot dead in his camp by suspected militants.”

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