IMPHAL July 29: Several external factors are severely hindering the progress of road repair works being undertaken at the landslide affected area of Maram in Senapati and other developmental works being undertaken along the National Highway, stated works minister K Ranjit after a personal inspection tour of landslide affected area of Maram in Senapati.
Deliberating on the issue faced by the officials and personnel working at the sites, he told media persons accompanying hin that there have been several reported incidents of monetary demands on the officials made by anti-social individuals besides threatening and afflicting physical harms to the labourers working at the Maram landslide area.
Further elaborating, minister K Ranjit stated that the Border Road Organization has been controlling the renovation and repairing of the 27 kms long stretch from Mao to Maram in Senapati for the past 40 years, however considering the failure of the BRO to maintained the highway which is also the main lifeline of the state properly, the state cabinet after minute discussion of the issue had decided to take control of the maintenance of highway and award it to the state works department.
He further added that the centre had already sanctioned a total of Rs seven crore for the maintenance of the highway stretch under the union ministry of surface transport and highways concerned in January 2011 with works starting from March of this year. He further stated that the works was awarded to a private contractor after an open bidding of the contract works was held.
However, after undertaking work on a road stretch of about 1.8 km on the highway, work had to be stopped because of bad law and order. On the other hand, the centre had sent a team comprising of officials of surface transport and highway ministry and the state chief engineer, works to take a survey concerning the re-alignment of an alternate route between Mao and Maram.
He further elaborated that the team had conveyed numerous meeting with the state government on the issue and it has been estimated that the said alternate route will require a total of around Rs 100 crore. However, he added that the central government has already provided an assurance to the state government of supporting the project under the phase A of Special Accelerated Road Development Programme.
Coming back to the issue of the present landslide affected Maram area, the minister informed the media persons that even though there are numerous external disturbances to the ongoing work at the site, the state government is adamant to work to its best capacity to repair the highway stretch.
Further reacting to a statement made by Tadubi MLA Raina regarding the developmental work taken up by the government along the highway, which was published in various local dailies of the state today, he maintained that being an MLA, he should have first considered the various steps taken up by the government and the problems faced while executing the works, before he jumped to any conclusions.
Further appealing to the local populace and leaders for support and cooperation, Ranjit asserted that the need of the hour is a collective comprehension of the issues to ascertain as to why progress of several works carried out along the highway is being delayed. He added that resorting to bandh, blockade, general strikes and other forms of agitations is severely affecting the developmental and welfare works for the general public.
He further maintained that maintenance works for the highway stretch from Maram to Taphou which is 27 kms long has been awarded to Nagaland based company HN Company for which the government has already sanctioned Rs 39 crore. Meanwhile, for the nine km stretch from Taphou to Changoubung has been awarded to SK construction agency with Rs 11.5 crore already sanctioned.
The minister further stated that for the highway stretch from Tendongyan to Koirengei covering seven kms has been awarded to an individual contractor N Chaoba with a sanctioned of Rs 13 crore.
He has further stated that maintenance work along the total Maram to Koirengei highway covering a total distance of 43 kms will be undertaken with a total fund of Rs 63.50 crore.
In the meanwhile, regarding the agitation of womenfolk of Pheidinga area regarding road repairing of the area, the minister further informed that the work order for the repairing of the road is inclusive to the work order allocated to N Chaoba for the highway stretch from Tendongyan to Koirengei. He has further appealed to the people of the area to stop their agitation.
Later during a on the spot inspection at the construction site of mini secretariat complex in Senapati district, Ranjit disclose that the mini secretariat each for Senapati and Tamenglong will be inaugurated at the end of September this year, possibly by a union minister or the Chief Minister. For the convenience of local administration for hill districts, separate district administrative complex for each district of Chandel, Churachandpur, Tamenglong, Ukhrul and Senapati district has been allotted and the construction works is in full swing. For Ukhrul the said administrative complex had already been handed over to the public, he stated.