Something akin to a bucket of cold water after a hot shower. Amid the feel good factor triggered by the decision of the BJP led Government to hold Chingi Numit on the 10th of every month, Meeyamgi Numit on the 15th of every month, the inking of the MoU between the State Government and the Churachandpur JAC, paving the way to claim the eight bodies which have been lying in state after the uproar against the three Bills passed by the State Assembly on August 31, 2015, the decision to hold Shirui Lily Festival at the State level from May 16 to May 20, comes the rap on the knuckle from Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari over the failure of the State Government to go ahead and repair the Imphal-Dimapur stretch of the National Highway. As the letter written by the Union Minister to the Chief Minister so plainly put it, if the State Government fails to kick start the process of awarding the works along the said highway for necessary repair work, then the same highway will be handed over to the NHIDCL. Divest the highway work from the State PWD and entrust the same to a Central agency, is the line that has been spelt out and this is possibly the first negative report that the BJP led Government has received since it assumed office in March this year. As the communication from Nitin Gadkari pointed out, the works divided into three sections, should have all been awarded in April this year, that is one month after the BJP led Government assumed office here.
The State Government may have its own reasons for not going ahead with the process of awarding the works to the agencies/contractors concerned, but clearly the Centre is peeved with the failure of the State Government to get its act together. The interesting point is, it is not so much that the NHIDCL will do a better job than the State PWD, but more a case of clipping the wings of the State Government for failing to do the needful. A sure statement that the State Government here has been caught on the wrong foot and this is what is extremely disturbing to note. Here is the Centre already sanctioning the needed money to take up the highway repairing work and here is a State Government failing to act on time. Or is it a case of the different departments under the State Government failing to act as one ? Whatever the case, the missive from Nitin Gadkari is a telling testimony that the State Government has been caught napping and this is something which can and should be avoided at all cost, for remember Manipur is a landlocked State and no efforts should be spared to keep the National Highways in tip top shape. Wonder why the State Government failed to act on this, despite the green signal given by the Centre. The BJP Government here is fortunate that the Centre is also under a BJP led Government or else the repercussions from Delhi could have been more unpleasant.
Source: The Sangai Express