IMPHAL, Sep 22: Even though the Imphal-Jiribam Highway/National Highway-37 has been improved to some extent, many stretches of it are still in dilapidated conditions causing immense hardships to the vehicles plying on the road, especially to loaded vehicles.
A team comprising of representatives of All Manipur United Clubs’ Organization (AMUCO), Rongmei Naga Youth Organization, Manipur (RNYOM), and National Highway & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) along with a media team made a two-day inspection programme on the entire stretches of the highway from September 20 to 21.
During the inspection, several portions like Kaiphundai, Rengpang, Rangkhung, Awangkhul, Nung-Dalan, Khongshang, Saijang, Kotlen were found in deplorable conditions.
At some locations, the road is quite muddy making the vehicles difficult to negotiate their way while in several other points it is very bumpy due to numerous potholes. The potholes are also the toughest challenges to the drivers during night time.
Water running down from the hill slopes not flowing on its course to the drains at many areas is another sight on the route. Instead, the water accumulated on the drains overflow on the road surface at many places. As such, the few culverts along the highway stretches are of little or no use as water does not flow in it.
Another factor responsible for muddy and slippery road is the total blockage of the drain by the crumbled rubbles of the hills at various locations.
A driver on the highway said that the Government is making tall claim by repeatedly telling that the Imphal-Jiribam Highway can be travelled to and fro in a day. He further rued that trucks cannot shift to 3rd gear at numerous sections of the highway while ferrying goods although the Government has claimed about its improvement on many occasions.
Narrow and incompatible bridges over streams and rivers along the highways added woes to the trucks and other vehicles. It is said that multiple minor accidents like bursting of tyres, breaking of vehicles’ springs, ramming on the bridges’ rim have been frequently occurring while trying to cross the bridges. The joining points between the land portions and bridges are usually steep and slippery when they are wet.
Speaking to media persons, AMUCO president Ph Devan decried that the condition of NH-37 has remained deplorable even after many lives have been claimed and many vehicles and properties have been lost/damaged due to its dilapidated condition.
In such a situation, people who travel on the highway cannot be free from fear and apprehension while the agencies/companies or contractors are earning free money without executing works.
Even though the Government too is talking of 100 days policy programme, not much improvement is seen in ground reality. The achievement must be only in paperwork and talks, Devan said.
Confiding that NHIDCL has informed AMUCO and RNYOM through a letter on September 3 this year about the completion of the drainage cleaning work along the NH-37 recently and the extensive work being done by the agency beyond its responsibility, Devan lamented that the road condition, including the drainage system and culverts is not satisfactory.
Urging the State Government to look into the highway construction issue and the manner the agencies and companies are working, the AMUCO president warned that AMUCO and RNYOM will leave no stone unturned to make the lifeline of the State secure and safe.
Mention may be made that three private companies (HBS, Nidhi Creative Private Limited, Bhartiya Infrastructure Private Limited) under NHIDCL are doing the construction and repairing works of NHIDCL after the Border Road Organization (BRO) left the construction and repairing works.
Source: The Sangai Express