Tongjei Maril construction formally launched, CM hopeful of completion within three years

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IMPHAL, September 8: Chief Minsiter Okram Ibobi Singh today flagged off the construction of the Tongjei Maril Bishnupur to Tupul and Bishnupur to Nungba sections by unveiling two foundation stones.

Two flagging off ceremonies were held at two separate places- at Bishnupur Cachar Road Educational Sporting Association (CRESA) ground for the Bishnupur to Tupul and at Joujangtek bazaar for the Bishnupur to Nungba via Joujangtek road.

The first stretch is funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) through the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DONER) under the project North Eastern States Road Investment Programme, while the second stretch is funded by the NEC.

Speaking at the Joujangtek ground, the chief minister said among the hill districts, Tamenglong is the remotest.

The Tongjei Maril, which has been there since the times of our ancestors is in such a bad shape that it takes seven to eight hours to reach Imphal from Tamenglong, he said before adding that the government has been hoping for long to develop this road to an all-season and easily accessible road.

This dream has been realized today with the help of fund from the NEC and the ADB, the Chief Minister continued.

These two projects will hold dear for the government as it will improve connectivity between the hills and the valley, he continued.

He assured the people that the State government is developing Tamenglong and many projects are underway.

It is not that the government is neglecting the district, he said and continued that after considering the geographical structure of the district, the Centre had shifted the rail line project from Senapati to Tamenglong.

Once the construction of the Tongjei Maril is completed, the Imphal-Tamenglong route will take only two hours at the maximum, he said.

However, the success of the project depends on the people of the district, he said.

Unless there are many disturbances to the construction, the work could be completed in the stipulated time of three years, the Chief Minister assured.

In fact, half the project could be completed by March next year, if there is no disturbances, and by another year the full route could be completed, he said.

“We should be careful of the quality control and not ransom money,” he continued.

He further urged the people against disturbances during land acquisition as there is no money for compensation in these projects.

“There can be negotiations but do not hamper the construction work for compensation,” he appealed

People of Tamenglong are more understanding than most others and co-operate willingly with the government in development projects taken up in the district which is abundantly rich with gifts from the nature, he said.

The Chief Minister further said, plans are on to construct the world’s highest bridge in the district, which will attract more tourists into the land.

Speaking on the issue of the MLR Act, 1960 passed by the State Assembly, Ibobi said it has been wrongly interpreted that the government will take away powers and land of the village chief under the Act.

He said the people should be aware that it was passed by the Indian Parliament in 1960 and the lands of the chiefs cannot be taken away in the hills.

The government is also mulling the idea of implementing the Mizoram pattern of organic farming instead of the jhum cultivation in the State, he said.

This will help control deforestation, he continued.

The hills are the people’s property, but no one should harm it by cutting down mature trees, he said.

The State government has asked the Centre for Rs 3000 crore to help implement the organic pattern of farming in the hills as was decided in a cabinet meeting but if the chiefs are not satisfied with the arrangement that the government is ready to amend the cabinet decision if it is suspicious, Ibobi said.

He further said that if the road connectivity is developed there will be improvement in source of income for the people and if the living standards of the people are improved, the State as whole will also develop.

Deputy Chief Minister who was also there said Tamenglong is now considered one of the most backward districts in the State, but once the projects taken up are completed, it would be one of the most advance districts in the State.

The Old Cachar road is a historic road of the State related to the ancestors and once construction is completed it will be known as the Tongjei Maril, he said.

The road will connect to the NH 37 after passing through Tupul , he said.

Gaikhangam also said that proposal for the reconstruction of the Kangpokpi-Tamei road has also been sent for approval to the ADB.

He appealed to the general public to co-operate and defeat the anti-social elements who will come out to disrupt the construction works in the district.

Bandhs and blockades will not bring anything good, it will only delay the development of the State, Gaikhangam continued.

Officials said Rs 114.70 crores have been sanctioned for the 50.80 km long Tupul Bishnupur road stretch and the work has been awarded to DRAIPL-ABCI (JV) and the work will be implemented by the Public Works Department, Manipur and a dedicated Project Implementation Unit has been established for the purpose.

For the Joujangtek to Rengpang stretch which is 69.52 km long, the work has been awarded to Keystone Infra Pvt Ltd with a sanction amount of Rs 147.71 crore.

 

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