Senior citizens demand permanent highway protection force on NHs
Source: Hueiyen News Service /NNN

Imphal, June 22, 2010: The Senior Citizens for Society Tuesday urged the Manipur government for immediate setting up a highway protection force and deploy permanently on the national highways passing through Manipur.

Speaking to media persons here today senior advocate Khaidem Mani of the Senior Citizens for Society also endorsed peoples' demand of making the NH-53 as lifeline of the people of the state but urged not to abandon NH-39 as only one is not enough for procurement of essential commodities for the state.

The decision of the Transporters' and Drivers' Council regarding the suspension of plying vehicles on the NH-39 until a safe passage atmosphere is assured, is a rightful demand but violent act to enforce it is not a welcome one, Khaidem Mani observed demanding early end to the agitation with amicable solution.

Government should consider the demand of the drivers and transporters and should deploy and escort the state vehicles throughout the stretch of both highways (NH-39 and NH-53) as they have been receiving atrocities from various anti-social elements apart from imposing unbearable extortions in the form "tax" by both undergrounds and NGOs on the highways, he observed.

Manipur government should extend cooperation with the drivers and truckers in making the NH-39 free from all sorts of collection of "illegal taxes" and harassment to the highway travelers both in Manipur and Nagaland section of the highway and pressed the Centre and Nagaland government to take up appropriate measures before drivers and transporters are pressed into service, he demanded.

Khaidem Mani also demanded that government should not take out the maintenance works of NH-53 totally from the BRTF/BRO and hand over the charge to the state PWD.

Instead the two agencies should take joint responsibility in maintaining the highway.

President of the Senior Citizens for Society, L Binoy who also took part in the briefing to media lauded the effort of the state government to improve the condition of the highway which only 153 miles from Imphal.