Forced plying of vehicles on NH-39 infuriates UCM,
accuses State Govt of being indifferent

Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 28 2010: The United Committee Manipur has contended that under pressure from the Centre, the SPF Government has been applying pressure tactics to force vehicle operators ply on the Imphal-Dimapur section of National highway-39 .

A UCM statement issued by its Information and Public Relations secretary kh Nilamani Khanganba said forcing oil tankers and FCI transporters to ply along the NH-39 section is against the wish and aspiration of the people, who had already decided to abandon the Imphal-Dimapur section owing to frequent atrocities against both drivers and passengers.

Reminding that various resolutions had been adopted to ply on NH-53 as Imphal-Dimapur section has been reduced to a route of rampant extortion, killing of drivers and outraging modesty of female passengers as well as to demand permanent deployment of Highway protection Force and compensate material and human losses on this route, UCM opined that forcing transport operators to resume service on this notorious section is anti-people policy.

Rather than succumb to pressure of the Ministry of Home Affairs, it would be more appreciative if the State Government persist with the demand for deployment of highway protection force, fulfil demands for compensating transporters or chalk out a concrete policy of the State to ensure safe passage of goods and passengers, the Committee suggested while expressing that forcing drivers to ply along NH-39 is akin to compromising safety of the drivers.

With regard to scarcity of essential commodities, particularly fuel and LPGs, UCM blamed inefficiency of the State Government for an effective PDS and described frequent claims by the Govt to ensure availability of essential items as taking the people for a ride.

Alleging erratic rationing of fuel, the IPR secretary maintained that regular provision to some fuel outlets out of a total of 55 reflects corruption in the system with similar mismanagement also creating LPG shortage not impossible, it stated.

Taking grim note of the general public denied essential commodities inspite of such items available in plenty in the black market, UCM observed that the Government needs to come out with a white paper on the matter.

Contending that the Central Government had been adopted a pro-NSCN (IM) policy, UCM construed that exerting pressure on the State Government to resume service along the Imphal-Dimapur section is to facilitate the rebel group collect illegal taxes as the outfit had been facing financial problems after vehicles ceased plying on NH-39 .

More than Rs 10 crore is collected every month by the NSCN (IM) to fund its nefarious activities, the UCM alleged and cautioned both the Central and State Government to refrain from any activities that could incite people's movement.

Blaming leniency of the State Government for certain NGOs resorting to blockade of the lifelines, UCM expressed strong resentment that State security personnel are being utilised to round up vehicles/drivers to resume service on the Imphal-Dimapur route.

Services of State forces should be utilised in extending security cover to labourers and machines engaged in the development of NH-53 in sync with the aspiration of the masses, suggested UCM and opined that number of contractors engaged in the NH-53 development and fund status should be made public by the Works Minister.

Moreover, Works Minister should issue strong instruction to ensure presence of Department officials along the Imphal-Jiribam route so as to expeditious completion of the road to a serviceable level.

UCM also desired that Opposition MLAs table important issues besieging people of the State in the assembly as belated out-cries would be meaningless.