IMPHAL, May 12: The Union Minister of State for Defence Dr MM Pallam Raju said, the government will instruct the BRO to construct a new bridge each on the Makru River and Barak River along the National Highway 37, Imphal-Jiribam.
He was briefing media persons at the Imphal airport before leaving for the national capital after his one day visit to the state.
After his arrival in the state capital, the MoS accompanied by the state Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, Home Minister Gaikhangam, Works Min Dr Kh Ratankumar, PHED Minister I Hemo-chandra and BRO DG Major S Shankar physically inspected the Imphal-Jiribam highway strech from Imphal to Khongsang and to Tamenglong district HQs.
It may be mentioned that the previous visit of the Union MoS to the state was cut short due to inclement weather and he had assured during the trip that he will return again soon and inspect the Imphal-Jiribam Highway.
He said his earlier plan was to undertake an aerial inspection of the highway, however he settled for physical inspection by travelling on road due to pressure from the state Chief Minister.
He along with state leaders and officials travelled on the NH 37 upto Khongshang and also visited Tamenglong district HQs from where the team flew back to Imphal.
The Union Minister of State said, the Imphal-Jiribam highway is about 221 km long and the centre takes the maintenance of the highway very seriously further adding that he will instruct the BRO to repair the several bridges along the highway at the earliest.
He also informed the press that the Centre will instruct the BRO to construct two new bridges on the Makru River and Barak River along the NH 37 and complete it by December 13 of this year.
Regarding the setting of a deadline for the completion of all development works of the entire Highway including blacktopping, the MoS said that since the highway has heavy vehicular traffic at the moment, the government cannot provide an exact deadline, but it has a new plan which will only expedite the process and finished it at the earliest.
He further expressed his belief that with the completion and proper maintenance of the highway, the state will be able to maintain a better lifeline which will only be economically beneficial to the state.
He further expressed that the Prime Minister considers all projects taken up in the North East region seriously and the centre will extend all kinds of possible help to fulfil the needs of the people.
Meanwhile, expressing his happiness over his Tamenglong visit today, the Union MoS said he had always wanted to visit Tamenglong.
Further briefing the media persons, he said, he was once invited to attend the Orange Festival at Tamenglong, however due to his heavy schedule at the time; he had to decline the invitation.
Meanwhile, the BRO DG said that the BRO has applied two working seasons to properly maintain the 40 km long Khongsang to Tamenglong road stretch.
He further expressed that the double lanning of the Imphal Jiribam highway will be undertaken only after the government receives Forest clearance and conducts the acquisition of the required lands.
Regarding the proposed 25 km long new road construction from Haochong to Tamenglong, he said that the BRO will take up the work in two weeks’ time.
Meanwhile, state minister of PHED I Hemochandra said that the visit is historic as this is the first time that a minister from the Centre has inspected the highway by road.
He further expressed his believe that the Union MoS will provide some special focus on the maintenance of the highway now that he has seen the condition of the road with his own eyes.