Charting out road map to upgrade NH-53 takes its first step
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, June 20 2010: With the stated objective of upgrading National Highway-53 into a major lifeline of the State, United Club NH-53 organised the first Road Congress at Manipur Press Club today.

Speaking at the Congress as the Chairman of the technical session, Dr N Mohendro informed the gathering that the highway blockades clamped along NH-39 and 53 from April 12 to June 18 led to the loss of over Rs 254 crores.

Dr N Mohendro said that the frequent highway blockades imposed along the two National Highways, which are the lifelines of the State, have adversely impacted on the economy of the State.

The Economics Professor (Retd) also opined that the blockades are the results of political, cultural and economic conflicts among different communities.

Retired Judge C Upendra and United Club NH-53 President Thongam Shyama Khaba graced the opening function of the Congress as chief guest and president respectively.

HVS Brick Field Proprietor H Bikram and United Club NH-53 Working President Th Mangi Singh were also members seated on the dais as guests of honour.

Giving his keynote address, United Club NH-53 General Secretary Khamnam Shivkumar said that the Congress was organised with an aim to upgrade NH-53 as a major lifeline of the State in view of the frequent disturbances on NH-39 .

Dr RK Ranjan of Manipur University while speaking in the technical session stressed on the need to upgrade NH-53 taking into account of the Trans-Asian-Highway which would pass through the State.

Another resource person, State PWD SE Kh Temba said that NH-53 was recognised by the Centre as a National Highway in 1980 .

Saying that development of the National Highways is the responsibility of the Centre, Kh Temba said that State PWD however takes the charge as a developing agency.

He further informed the gathering that the State Cabinet decided to hand-over the charge of looking after NH-39 and NH-53 to BRTF in 2006 .

Works Minister K Ranjit had however earlier sfated that the task of building NH-39 was handed to the BRO in 1968.The highway was divided into two sections one from Imphal to Barak and the other from Barak to Jiribam.

Speaking on the current condition of NH-53, the SE said that as monsoon has set in, black topping of the highway would not be possible now.

The Government may however take up measures for fast clearance of the landslides and renovation of weak bridges.

He further opined that all sections of the society must co-operate in the development works if the highway is to be upgraded to its best.

Prof N Joykumar, Advocate Yumnam Tomcha Meetei and ISTV News Editor Rinku Khumukcham also spoke in the Congress as resource persons.