IMPHAL, Nov 13: After nearly five years of being inaugurated, Transport Minister Dr Kh Ratankumar has officially launched the operation of Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT) located at Khongnang Ani Karak this morning.
It may be mentioned that ISBT was formally inaugurated by then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and president of the Indian National Congress Sonia Gandhi on December 3, 2011.
The official launching programme was also attended by L Lakshmikumar, Commissioner (Transport), H Roshita, Director, Transport Department, BK Sharma, Deputy Director, Transport Department, Dr A Chinglenkhomba, Deputy Director, Transport Department and other officials of Transport Department.
Dr Ratankumar stated that ISBT was not made operational all these years as oil tankers would occupy the place as a parking site. Now that the oil tankers have a permanent parking space at Malom Oil Depot, ISBT has been made fully functional.
Since the place was used as a parking slot for over two years, the area was extensively damaged. Moreover, earthquake which shook the State twice this year caused more damage to the structures. The damaged areas were retrofitted and refurbished.
Before making ISBT operational, the same was well deliberated in a number of Cabinet meetings and discussions. Its maintenance and management were outsourced to a private party called Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA). The agency will take care of all forms of management and maintenance.
“ISBT will play a pivotal role in reducing traffic congestion of upto about 70-80 percent in Imphal city as parking of all intra-State and inter-State buses will be done here,” Dr Ratankumar said.
Commenting on the indefinite economic blockade called by United NagaCouncil (UNC), he said the State Government is chalking out plans and other measures to settle the issue.
Interlocutor RN Ravi has been approached by the State Government to reach out to UNC and suspend the economic blockade. He added that the demands of UNC should not affect the general public of Manipur.
When asked of any immediate steps to bring in essential items including petroleum products, Dr Ratankumar said, “Arrangements have been made with IOC officials and transporters to bring stranded trucks from Khatkhati to Silchar and again to Imphal through Imphal-Jiribam under foolproof security measures.
“We are hopeful that all trucks will reach Imphal within three to four days”, he added.
Source: Imphal Free Press