IMPHAL, Apr 12: Even though Imphal-Moreh highway is the only viable route for Indo-Myanmar border trade and it is often projected as India’s road link to South East Asian countries, development work of the same highway has been delayed.
Notably, Imphal-Moreh highway is a key section of Asian Highway I. Imphal-Moreh highway is currently a two-lane highway and it should be expanded to the level of a four-lane highway. Funds necessary for the highway development work should be provided by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Significantly the Deputy Commissioner of Tengnoupal will chair a meeting in connection with the widening of NH-39, that is from Lilong to Moreh, on April 15 at 12.05 pm at his office chamber.
All village chiefs, chairmen, secretary and land owners along NH-39 from Senam village to Moreh have been requested to attend the meeting.
Meanwhile, an office memorandum issued by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) on November 24 last year clear laid down that no new proposal for expansion of National Highways to the level of four-lane highways should be submitted with effect from the fiscal year 2017-18.
The office memorandum stated that all projects pertaining to expansion of National Highways to the level of four-lane highways should be handled by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).
Imphal-Moreh highway should be developed to the level of a four-lane highway with the National Highway Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) as implementing agency.
However, the same project has been delayed as no estimate about payment of compensation for land and standing properties that would be affected by the highway expansion work has been submitted, according to information received from NHIDCL.
The area to be acquired for expansion of the highway can be ascertained only after an estimate of the amount necessary for payment of compensation for land and standing properties is received.
ADB would be providing only the amount necessary for expansion of the highway in the form of loan. The loan does not cover the amount necessary for payment of compensation.
The amount necessary for payment of land compensation should be produced by the Government of India.
Even though the project has been delayed, an estimate about land and standing properties that would be affected by expansion of the highway is expected within the next 10 to 15 days.
The Chief Secretary convened a meeting today and discussed about the matter with the Revenue Commissioner, Settlement Commissioner and the DCs concerned.
During the meeting, the Chief Secretary directed the officials concerned to submit an estimate of land and standing properties that would be affected within 10 days.
Once the land acquisition process is completed, NHIDCL would have no problem in starting the highway development, informed the source.
On the other hand, information received from PWD National Highway Division said that there is no proposal for expansion of Imphal-Dimapur highway to the level of a four-lane highway as per the office memorandum issued by MoRTH on November 24 last year.
Nonetheless, new sanction has been issued for development of the highway from Mao to Koubru Leikha. The highway project is presently in the stage of holding tender, added the PWD source.
Source: The Sangai Express