Road Congress endorses making NH 53 State's lifeline forever
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, June 20 2010: Considering yesterday's, today's and tomorrow's vision, developing NH 53 as the lifeline of Manipur is a must, observed experts, intellectuals, educationists, entrepreneurs, etc.

speaking at the 1st Manipur Road Congress (National Highway) held at the Manipur Press Club here today.

The inaugural function of the Congress was graced by retired Judge of the District and Sessions' Court, Justice C Upendra and presided over by president of the organising body, United Clubs NH-53, Thongam Shama Khaba.

Proprietor of HVS Brick Field, H Vikram and working president of the host organisation, Ch Mangi attended as guests of honour the first ever Road Congress organised under the theme "National Highways in Manipur; Today and Tomorrow" .

Proprietor of HVS Brick Field, H Vikram speaking at the Road Congress at Manipur Press Club

Speakers at the Congress demanded that considering the present and future vision, government authorities as well as people should give emphasis in developing the NH-53 as the lifeline of the people of the state.

They also recalled the important of NH-53, commonly known as Tongjei Maril, historical as well as cultural aspects of Manipur.

The NH-39 was developed only for trade and commerce purposed by the British colonial rule in 1932, they added.

Dr RK Ranjan, former Registrar of Manipur University observed that since from the very early period of time, the route played a very important role and it was only after the coming up of NH-39 in 1932 that the route was neglected.

But at future point of vision, the important of route once again coming up.

Central government vision of developing Silchar in Assam as South Asian Commercial Hub with the coming up of Trans Asia Highway and extension of Silchar-Jiribam railway line upto Tupul in the near future has arose once again the important of the highway.

Shama Khaba, a member of the organising body, United Club NH-53, recalled that in 2005 when same body, ANSAM imposed same economic blockade for 52 days while lamenting the then people's resolution for making the highway as alternative lifeline of the state was forgotten in due course of time.

This time, "Lets not forget," he said urging the state government to take up appropriate works and people to press the government considering that the matter is question of life and dead of the whole people of the state.

H Vikram who attended as guest of honour of the inaugural function stressed the need for a policy for maintaining national highways in the state and insisted the government to appoint a separate chief engineer for looking after the maintenance works of the national highways in the state.

Supporting state government decision in taking over the maintenance works of NH-53, he asserted that BRO could not maintain the road properly and developed it.

He also suggested for setting up a committee of experts to look into the improvement works taken up on the stretch from time to time.

Retired Justice of the District Session and Judge Court, C Upendra who graced as chief guest of the opening of Congress strongly criticized Manipur government of expressing regret to a student body in Nagaland when state force do nothing wrong outside the purview of the law.

It is shameful on the part of the state government when it expressed regret when its force obeys its order in enforcing the prohibitory order promulgated under section 144 of CrPC.

Instead of conveying regret message, justification to the barring of the students leaders should have been provided, he observed.

Again flaying a statement of the spokesperson of the SPF government that government declared wanted person to the leaders of ANSAM and UNC as per directive of the court, he should have justify the steps of the government, he demanded saying that it was the most criminal activities to cut lifelines of people of the state for more than two months.

As there is no surety in free passage of Manipur vehicles on the NH-39, government should take up improvement works of the NH-53 on war footing, he demanded.

Observers said that the opinion expressed by the speakers in the Congress will be a morale booster for the agitating Transporters' and Drivers' Council, the apex body of commercial vehicles operating on the National Highways, refusing to resume normal service on the Imphal-Dimapur section of the NH-39 .

Sticking to its gun, not to ply the Imphal-Dimapur section of the NH-39 even as ban on Manipur vehicles in Nagaland and ANSAM sponsored economic blockade on the national highways suspended temporarily, the council is imposing ban on the vehicles moving on this highway.