And nothing illustrates the truism of this phrase than the two pictures which accompanied the lead story of The Sangai Express under the caption ‘Dust and crater like potholes : Welcome to NH-2’ in the October 12 issue.
So if it rains it is all mud and slush and if it doesn’t then it is all dust and more dust.
This is about the state of National Highway-2, the road that connects Manipur to the outside world via Dimapur in Nagaland.
If such is the condition of the lifeline of the State, then one can imagine the situation on the other roads that are not National Highways or even highways.
The October 11 story is a continuation of the series of the stories carried by The Sangai Express highlighting the pathetic conditions of the roads in Imphal and this will not be the last either.
True the heavy rainfall in the last few months has taken its toll and it stands that Chief Minister N Biren has announced that the Centre has released Rs 32 crore to repair the flood damaged National Highways.
This is welcome, but remember that what has been highlighted here is not something which has just emerged in the last few months, but is a telling commentary on how the National Highways and all major roads in the State have been neglected with the Government and the authority concerned turning the other way round when the roads star falling apart.
It also stands that the BJP led Government has just come to power and the state of the National Highways and the roads has been inherited from the previous Congress Government.
This however is no reason for the BJP to go lax over the issue at hand. Rs 32 crore have been released. Let’s see how this amount is utilised to make the National Highways fit for human travel.
It is not only goods laden trucks that travel along the Imphal-Dimapur highway.
It is not only upto Dimapur that travellers take this route to, with many going forward to Guwahati and Shillong.
Not all of them can afford to go by air everytime they move out and there are a good number of people who prefer to travel by road.
The number of Guwahati and Shillong bound buses and taxis that leave Imphal everyday will give anyone an idea of just how many take this route daily.
How about them ? How do they bear with the bumpy and dusty National Highway ?
Anyone who has taken this route more often than others will and can tell all the difference of the highway once they cross into Assam and even Nagaland.
Nothing seems to work here and it is this question which should be raised to the Government.
One here is not talking about the Imphal-Jiribam highway, the plight of which has been written about enough, and why should the attention of the Government and the people be drawn towards the highways only when there is a blockade ?
One here is talking about NH-2 and when one talks about the lifeline one should also concentrate on how people are forced to travel along this route, thanks to the dust and the potholes.
The Sangai Express will continue to study the conditions of road at all the district headquarters and it was just a few days back that Chief Minister N Biren evinced keen interest to go up to Tamenglong all the way by road.
So is it going to be another round of window dressing for the high profile visit or will some serious work be taken up to make the road from Imphal to Tamenglong motorable ?
Source: The Sangai Express