Govt peeved over BRTF's style of working on NH-53
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, June 08 2010: The ministerial team led by Works Minister K Ranjit got annoyed over the style of working of the Border Road Task Force (BRTF) and termed the BRTF as an agency which is interested in making money for temporary works.

The team comprises Transport Minister, L Jayentakumar, Deputy Chairman, State Planning Board, Bijoy Koijam, Chairman, Manipur Pollution Control Board, E Dwijamani, Chief Engineer of PWD and other officials.

Works Minister Ranjit, who is camping at Jiribam, told this newspaper that 24-BRTF is responsible for maintenance and improvement of the stretch of NH-53 from Nungba to Oriental College in Imphal.

This section of the Highway is not all that bad.

Movement of vehicles can be facilitated at any time.

A deep ditch in the middle of NH-53 between Barak and Jiribam

However, no improvement work had been done in the section of NH-53 from Barak to Jiribam, which is looked after by 745-BRTF, Minister Ranjit said.

Vehicles can not ply this section of the National Highway, he said and added that the Government will seriously enquire how much of the funds the Central Government had allocated had been spent.

The Works Minister further revealed that the Government had informed the BRTF in advance to let its officials wait for the Ministerial team on the Highway.

But, whether anticipating that they might be given a piece of mind by the Ministers for the deplorable condition of the Highway or what, none of the BRTF officials was available for a meeting and discussion.

He said, since this is a state issue, he sent the Chief Engineer of PWD to the head office of 745-BRTF in Silchar to inform the officials to come to the office of the Chief Minister at 2 pm of June 10.Moreover, Works Minister said, the Government would lodge a complaint with the Union Ministry of Surface Transport.

The Ministerial team, in its trip to Jiribam yesterday, did not find even a small patch of asphalted road on the Highway from Barak to Jiribam.

The section of the Highway is full of pond-like pits and pot-holes where fish farming can be taken up.

At many places in the Barak-Jiribam section of the Highway, water was found flowing in streams, Minister Ranjit told the Huieyen Lanpao.

In this condition, the drivers of the goods trucks and tankers were bringing essential commodities for the people of the state, Ranjit said and appreciated the courage of the drivers.

He has already given instructions to the engineers of PWD to start repairing 10 weak bridges and improvement works of the dilapidated portions of the Highway with immediate effect.

The main reason for the bad condition of the road is because the BRTF had not constructed culverts and drainages while working on the Highway, Minister Ranjit lamented.

Transport Minister L Jayentakumar told reporters that since the NH-53 has become the main lifeline of Manipur, a transit camp for the drivers would be constructed under Manipur Development Society (MDS) at Sorok Atingbi in Jiribam.

An area of five acres has already been aquired for the construction of the transit camp, of which cost is estimated at about Rs 3 crore.

The construction work will start in full swing.

Deputy Chairman of State Planning Board, Bijoy Koijam and Chairman of Manipur Pollution Control Board, E Dwijamani also expressed unhappiness and dissatisfaction over the lethargic style of working of BRTF.

They said, the way the BRTF has been deceiving the people of Manipur would be discussed at the level of Chief Minister and find out the steps to be taken in this regard.