IMPHAL, August 28: The present condition of the national highways of the State has been of much concern for the State`™s people as both lifelines – National Highway 2 and the National Highway 37 – have remained blocked since the past week or so.
While NH 2 has been cut-off since August 21 due to a major landslide in Nagaland, NH 37 has been blocked due to a damaged Barak Bridge, inaugurated last year in September, since August 25.
Scarcity of petroleum products and other essential commodities have already hit the State due to the cutting off of the two lifelines.
The Manipur Truck Owners`™ Welfare Association has been holding the Border Road Organisation responsible for the dilapidated condition of the Barak Bailey Bridge.
The association today charged the BRO of still neglecting the Barak Bridge and the NH 37, even though the State is totally cut-off from the country.
Speaking to media persons at their MG Avenue office, president of the association H Ranjit said considering the difficulties faced in the present scenario, MTOWA has decided to take initiatives to repair the old Barak Bailey Bridge on its own and could complete the work in two days if the PWD and the BRO allow.
He continued it is unfortunate that an assistant engineer of the 83 Road Construction Company of the BRTF had reportedly claimed that it will take another 12 more days to repair the Barak Bridge.
Even if the engineer had claimed 12 more days to complete the work, there is no picture of work being initiated to repair the bridge till date, he said.
This is a clear evidence of the charges that the BRO thinks of only profit making from the contract works of NH 37 and not in quality control of their works along the highway he snapped.
Enquiring about the reasons for the delay in starting the repairing of the bridge, he said whether it was because the BRO had no spare part or lack of manpower and machinery?
The BRO has never sought help from the transporters on the issue, although we are ready to help Ranjit continued.
In such a scenario, the MTOWA has decided to take initiatives to repair the old Barak Bailey Bridge on its own and fix it to top condition he added.
He said MTOWA can complete the work in two days if the PWD and the BRO allow it to take the initiative.
He said transporters consider the Imphal-Jiribam highway a safer route than NH 2 where they have to pay more taxes to UG groups.
The Manipur government also never takes the NH 37 as an important route until something happens at NH 2.
The government and the PWD must clarify before the public about the huge sums of fund sanctioned by the Centre for improvement and development of the highway, he continued.
The BJP had recently divulged the amount of fund sanctioned for improvement of the road which is huge and more than enough for a facelift of the highway, however, there is not much change, he claimed.
He further appealed to the politicians not to politicise development of the NH 37.
Ranjit said we are aware of certain politicians who are working with the BRO and trying to earn political milestone.