Centre seeks alternate highway to Manipur

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NEW DELHI, Dec 14 (agencies): Concerned over the recent 100-day economic blockade in Manipur, the Union Home Ministry has sought urgent strengthening of a highway which could be used as an alternative route to the State in case a similar strike takes place in future.

Minister for Development of North Eastern Region Paban Singh Ghatowar said Union Home Ministry has asked for urgent strengthening of NH-37 between Imphal and Badarpur in Assam to blunt capabilities of militant groups to stop supply of essential commodities to Manipur.

“It has been informed by the Ministry of Home Affairs that NH 2 is prone to frequent bandhs and economic blockades. Therefore, urgent strengthening of NH 37 between Imphal and Badarpur, as an alternative Highway has become essential,” he told Lok Sabha, replying to a question.

The United Naga Council had lifted its 100-day economic blockade of the national highways on November 28.

The blockade had caused severe hardships to people of the State and resulted in skyrocketing prices of essential commodities as the supply chain was blocked.

The UNC had launched the blockade on August 21 to protest against signing of an agreement between Manipur Government and Sadar Hills District Demand Committee (SHDDC) under which the government agreed to grant Kuki-majority Sadar Hills in Naga majority Senapati district the status of a full-fledged revenue district.

About transport infrastructure projects in the region, Ghatowar said the government was working on several projects to upgrade road, rail and aerial connectivity to the region.

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