TODAY -
TDC sees red at handing NH-53 to BRO
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, August 25 2010: Expressing strong Opposition against the Central govt's decision to repose faith in the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), for the development and maintenance of National highway-53, Transporters' and Drivers' Council (TDC) has cautioned that it would cease plying on both the high-ways and launch intense agitation in case BRO is re-entrusted the development of the Imphal-Jiribam route.

Speaking to newspersons at its MG avenue office today TDC president Hijam Ranjit asserted that under no circumstance should the Government of Manipur rescind from its decision of assigning the crucial task of overall development of NH-53 to local contractors.



Trucks make their way through the treacherous NH-53 stretch


Contending that for over three decades the BRO has been engaged in the maintenance of the Imphal-Jiribam section of the Highway but without any positive sign of development as is evident at the present juncture, where several stretches of the route are not suitable for vehicular movement, Ranjit voiced the Council's opposition to the Centre's idea that BRO should continue with the highway maintenance task.

Rubbishing BRO authorities' claim that heavy machineries such as JCBs, bulldozers and tipper trucks are being utilised to maintain the route following the Centre's recent decision, Ranjit said the BRO claim is an eyewash as there are no BRO vehicles in the worst affected zone from Nungba upto Keimai.

The Council president also alleged that the Central Govt in collusion with the BRO is plotting to neutralise consensus of the general public to ply only on NH-53 which the BRO is also more than willing for the agency has been empowered to utilise allocated fund on its own will and whims.

He also contended that owing to lack of quality control even culverts could not withstand pressure of vehicles while absence of drainage system had been ruining the road such a deplorable condition that vehicles have to negotiate slushy sections at various points.

Suggesting that Govt of Manipur shoulder the responsibility to develop the highway stretch in a satisfactory manner rather than allow the BRO waste invaluable money and time as had been witnessed since the agency was assigned the responsibility since the late 1970s, Ranjit also reiterated the Council's appeal to the people for expeditious development of NH-53 .

The president further claimed that effort of the Council and with cooperation of the general public road condition of about 40 kilometre stretch from Nungba to Keimai has improved significantly after more than 514 loads of boulders and stone chips were laid in between July 8 till August 20.While such a joint endeavour has lessened the sinking phenomenon previously associated in this road stretch, it would be an exercise in futility if the State Govt decides to abandon its responsibility without completing the task at hand, he opined.

While highlighting that the BRO inaction in the development/maintenance aspect has constrained the Council to file a public interest litigation against the agency in a Court, Ranjit also informed that the Transport Dept has allotted a land at Jiribam to facilitate weary travellers rest.


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