TODAY -

Court orders probe into NH-37 fund use following PIL, transporters withdraw support to Government
High Court asks CVO of Transport Ministry to investigate
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, October 30 2011: Acting on a Public Interest Litigation filed by a member of Transporters' and drivers' Council (TDC) the Gauhati High Court has ordered an investigation to the utilisation of fund for the development/repairing of National Highway-37 even as the Council announced withdrawal of support to the Government of Manipur.

A division bench ruling of the Gauhati High Court asked the Chief Vigilance Officer of Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to investigate whether there are any irregularities in the utilisation of fund released for development/repairing of NH-37 .

After hearing of the PIL consumed nearly a year, the Court ruling issued by Justices T NK Singh and PK Saikia on October 19 asked the Chief Vigilance Officer to submit a report within three months.

The officer was advised to minutely study why there had been no satisfactory progress in the highway development and repairing works entrusted to the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) for the past many decades.

TDC member H Kulamani approached the Court in July 2010 with the intimation that road development work undertaken by the BRO for over 40 years is not upto the mark and that there is strong suspicion of misuse of fund provided by the Central Government.



The dust kicked up by the moving trucks reduces visibility to nil on NH-37
The dust kicked up by the moving trucks reduces visibility to nil on NH-37


It is informed that the same Court is studying a report submitted by a monitoring committee which the Court had constituted following complaints of tardy work by the BRO.

Confirming filing of the PIL, TDC president H Ranjit confided to some news-persons that the Court was approached in the interest of the general public for role of the transporters is not confined to earning wages only.

He also suggested that the Government of Manipur issue strong instruction to the BRO for accelerating NH-37 development work to ensure maximum coverage during the working season.

The TDC president also announced the transport operators decision to completely withdraw support extended to the Government of Manipur until and unless the latter releases compensation amount to owners whose vehicles were either burnt down or damaged by supporters of both economic blockade sponsors and counter-blockade activists.

expressing strong resentment that the State Cabinet held last evening ignored the issue of paying compensation to the vehicle owners, Ranjit condemned the alleged contradictory stand between the Committee that recommended 70 percent release of the compensation amount while the Finance Department approved only 50 percent.

The Committee, he said, was constituted to authenticate the number and report about damages suffered by vehicles in blockade-related incidents.

With regard to withdrawal of support to the Government, Ranjit explained that for the past 3/4 months TDC had been bearing cost of hiring excavators in addition to providing ambulances whenever or wherever needed.

Maintaining that on account of pitiable condition of the Imphal-Jiribam route excavators and ambulances come handy when there are mishaps, he conveyed that such support would be withdrawn with immediate effect.

Clarifying that there is no question of ceasing service as it would only aggravate the perilous situation, Ranjit grimly observed that the State Government seems to be ignorant of the Council's contribution to ensure that supply of essential commodities continues.

The TDC president also sought the support and cooperation of all concerned in the Council's endeavour to provide solace to the suffering public.


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