Senior citizens for protection of NHs
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, June 23 2010: Senior Citizens for Society has exerted pressure on the Government of India and Manipur for setting up National Highway Protection Force to ensure full protection along the National Highways 39 and 53 .

Addressing a press conference in this connection at its office here today, Society president N Binoy pointed out that despite lifting of the ANSAMsponsored economic blockade along the National Highways 39 and 53, public in Manipur are still reeling under the impact of shortage of essential commodities and transportation of goods along the two National Highways is yet to be normalised.

Stating that the problems being faced by the transporters and drivers along these two National Highways are limitless, Binoy said that crores and crores of rupees are being extorted from the trucks transporting essential commodities including life saving drugs and passenger buses plying along these roads every day.

Instances of trucks setting on fire or pushing them into the gorge, abduction and intimidation of the innocent drivers and handymen, beating them up and sometime killing them etc, are numerous.

Frequent imposition of economic blockades along these two National Highways have also negated the meaning of right to life of 25 lakhs people in Manipur.

However, the Government of India is yet give any definite assurance to the Government of Manipur on ensuring that such unwanted disturbances along these two National Highways would not happen in future.

So, the transporters are still hesitant from plying along these roads.

No doubt, five companies of Central Paramilitary forces have been despatched and deployed for the protection of the two National Highways, service along these National Highways yet to be normalised.

So, there is the need for a permanent National Highway Protection Force, Binoy observed.

General secretary of the Society Prof Sadananda, who was also present at the occasion, said that not a situation has come in which development of an alternative route to National Highway 39 is urgently required under a definite plan.

National Highway 53 could be the very alternative or the Old Cachar Road, which is just 150 kms long and is the shortest route connecting Manipur with the outside world should be developed properly.

Prof Sadananda further said that the manner of distributing essential goods brought in by the Government from time to time during the course of the over 2 months long economic blockade along the National Highways 39 and 53 to the public is not satisfactory.

Law enforcing agencies should stop throwing their weight around.

Secretary of the Society Khaidem Mani informed that a convention would be held in first week of July to discuss the issues confronting Manipur today.

He also demanded the NSCN (IM) to make public the boundary limit and the names of the rulers if Nagas have history of a united Nation of their own.

Society co-ordinator Dr Nara said that the problems being faced by the Manipuri people have been highlighted in a press conference held at Mangalore Press Club on June 10 .

Consequent to the press conference, Alva's College at Mangalore have assured free education to around 100 Manipuri students who are specially bright in sports.