NH-53 not the solution, says AMUCO
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 06 2010: The All Manipur United Clubs' Organisation (AMUCO) has stated that development of NH 53 cannot be lasting solution to the economic insecurity of Manipur as well as the persistent problem of highway blockades.

As long as Manipur remains dependent on imported goods, the problem of highway blockades would continue to haunt the people of Manipur, said a press release issued by AMUCO publicity secretary NC Modhuchandra.

Rather than sustaining the culture of dependence on imported goods, the people should learn the habit of using good judiciously and frugally.

The people should struggle to convert the existing crisis into an opportunity to launch a movement for abundant production of food and other commodities.

Stating that this is a pre-condition for existence of a State, the AMUCO asserted to carry out this bounden responsibility, the people of Manipur should take their own decision.

People should struggle to ensure that only the bare minimums are imported along highways and make these highways lifelines of other States, not Manipur.

This would do away with the problems of highway blockades for a long time to come.

The politics and culture of such a secure environment cannot be realised through NH 53.Reminding that the Nupi Lan of 1939 was not against suspension of import of goods along highways but against export of goods from Manipur.

But today people have been protesting against suspension of import along highways.

This is a clear indication that the people of Manipur have been going in reverse gear for the last 71 years, AMUCO remarked.

It asserted that roads and highways should be developed and maintained at prime conditions.

This would promote closer and more frequent interaction at people to people level.

As for choice of routes, transporters would be automatically choose what is most convenient to them.

Asking whether NH 53 would be disturbance/obstruction free, AMUCO asserted that there would be disturbances and obstructions along the highway until and unless those ethno-centric elements conspiring to disrupt the hill-valley relation shed their parochial mind-sets and stop misleading the innocent people settled alongside the highway.

The policy of non-intervention followed by the Govt of India with regard to the recent prolonged blockade was an experiment of New Delhi to test survival instinct of Manipuri people in the absence of India's support.

The Manipuri people's mild reaction was a fitting response which carried a message "we can endure it".

The resolution of the Transporters' and Drivers' Council to take NH 53 in place of NH 39 is for their safety.

It is clear that the drivers and owners can no longer tolerate the persistent humiliation, harassment, killing, robbery, illegal taxes and all kinds of criminal activities along Imphal-Dimapur road, AMUCO observed.

Although the National Highway Act was passed in 1958 followed by establishment of the National Highway Authority in 1988, none of the rules and regulations stipulated by the Act are implemented on highways running in the region.

In the face of all adverse conditions, it would be best for the people of Manipur to concentrate on economic independence of the State, AMUCO asserted.