NH-53 condition deteriorates, risk factor rises
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, June 06 2010: With heavy trucks and other vehicles taking the NH-53 route for transportation of goods to Manipur following the ban imposed by the Naga Students' Federation on movement of Manipur vehicles through Nagaland coupled with the indefinite blockade imposed on both NH-39 and NH-53, the Imphal-Jiribam highway which was already in bad shape is fast wearing out.

The condition of the highway has aggravated to such an extent that there are apprehensions that any of the many bridges that dot this highway may break down completely or partially.

A creaky bridge over the Barak river on NH-53

A field inspection of the 221 Kms long Imphal-Jiribam highway conducted by The Sangai Express found that the condition of the stretch from Barak to Jiribam has worsened considerably.

Travelling along the 95 kms long Jiribam-Barak section took almost eight hours.

All the bridges dotting this section were in shaky conditions.

No two vehicles can cross any of these bridges simultaneously.

Even a single vehicle crossing these bridges have go at a very slow speed.

In addition to the creaky conditions of the bridges, the highway is quite slippery and sluggish at many points due to mud and slush formed with the down pours in the last few years.

Drivers travelling along this highway have to manoeuvre while passing over culverts as many have developed large pot holes.

In the event of any vehicle breaking down in the middle of the journey, the whole convoy travelling behind it has to stop as there is no space to overtake the stationary vehicle.

There is an urgent need for the authorities to remove slush and mud over different portions of the highway so as to ease traffic to some extent.

On the other hand, BRTF has been developing Jiribam-Silchar section of NH 53 to a four-lane highway together with bridges.

Towards Barak from Jiribam, BRTF has started developing and black-topping the highway for a length of about 20 Kms together with requisite bridges.

Moreover, BRTF teams have been stationed at different points of the highway to extend emergency assistance in case any portion of the highway become impassable when convoys of goods carriers are travelling along it with security escorts assisted by ROPs provided by Assam Rifles, CRPF and BSF.

Meanwhile, a convoy of trucks, tankers and bullet tankers travelling from Jiribam to Imphal was halted at Sibilong yesterday as one of the tankers got stuck in a depressed portion.

The convoy resumed their journey today after the portion was repaired by a BRTF team at the intervention of ADC and the SDPO of Jiribam although today is holiday being Sunday.