Estimated cost of developing NH-53 pegged at Rs 250 Cr
Determined CM discusses security aspects

Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, June 18 2010: Along with a rough estimation that around Rs 250 crores may be required to develop the National Highway 53 to tiptop condition, the State Government has worked out that around Rs 20 to 25 crores would be spent in the first phase of on improving the existing condition of the road to make it motorable.

Chief Minister O Ibobi also held a high level security meeting with regard to NH-53 today evening.

Disclosing this to The Sangai Express, a reliable source informed that Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh will be flying to Delhi on either June 20 or 21 to meet the Prime Minister and present the case of Manipur for providing necessary fund for developing NH-53 .

In case the Central Government declines to provide the Rs 250 crores, which is the roughly estimated cost for development of NH-53, the State Govt has already taken a definite stand on keeping aside 10 percent of the annual plan amount for the purpose.

The State Public Works Dept has already submitted a proposal to the State Govt that around Rs 20 to 25 crores would be required for the first phase of developing the road including removal of the landslides at various points of the highway and levelling of the road to make it motorable smoothly, the source said adding that proposal of the Works Department has not worked out the estimated cost laying the bitumen.

As the State Govt has no resources other than the Special Development Fund, the required amount may most probably be utilised from the Special Development Fund, the source noted.

Meanwhile, a meeting presided over by Chief Minister O Ibobi has reportedly discussed development of the National Highway 53 as an alternative lifeline to National Highway 39 today.

The meeting held in the Chief Minister's Secretariat this afternoon and attended by top officials of BSF, Assam Rifles, CRPF and Army also discussed the necessary security arrangement for the machineries provided by the PWD and the labourers being engaged for development of the road.

It was decided that the machineries and the labourers would be attached with the posts of the BSF, Assam Rifles, CRPF and Army located along the National Highway.

During the course of the meeting, when the Army officials proposed that some tasks should also be entrusted to the BRO, the Chief Minister reportedly expressed reservation insisting that development of National Highway 53 earnestly as alternative lifeline to National Highway 39 is essential even after blockade has been lifted in Nagaland.