Plans lined up for State to tackle blockades
Duggal promises bigger capacity fuel storage for Manipur, development of NH-53

Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, August 17: Laying bare a number of plans to help the State tackle economic blockades in the future in the backdrop of the recent economic blockade imposed by ANSAM, Union Home Secretary VR Duggal who arrived at Imphal today said that plans are on to increase the storage capacity of fuel in the State.

Addressing a media conference at the banquet hall of Raj Bhawan today, the Union Home Secretary said that he has already held talks with officials of the Indian Oil Corporation and they have endorsed the idea of increasing the storage capacity of fuel.

"The IOC officials have agreed with the suggestions of increasing the storage capacity of fuel in the State and they will expedite the work for the same after studying the current holding position of fuel," he added.

Other than this the Centre will also take up all necessary steps to ensure that the State is not starved of essential commodities and the Imphal-Jiri line will be developed, promised the Union Home Secretary.

On the developmental plans of NH-53, Duggal said that the Centre is ready to sanction Rs 7/8 crores to convert the highway to a double lane route.

The development work of the highway will be entrusted to the BRO, said Duggal and added that work will be taken up in full swing as soon as the post Monsoon season sets in.

"Fund is not a problem.

It can be sanctioned either from the Ministry of Road Transport or from the Home Ministry," he informed media-persons.

The Home Secretary further said that the Border Roads Organisation has already informed him that about 60 kms along NH-53 are in bad shape with numerous pot holes.

The weak bridges on the route have now been strengthened and goods laden trucks weighing 15 tonnes can pass over the bridges, he added.

The BRTF will also be entrusted with the task of maintaining the route on a daily basis, said Duggal and added that adequate security force would be deployed on the highway to provide security and foil any attempt to disrupt the smooth flow of traffic.

"In this regard I have held talks with the top brass of Army, Assam Rifles, CRPF and the State police and I also conducted an aerial survey of the route today," informed Duggal.

Security forces have been pressed into service to sanitise the route, he said and added that the situation has improved considerably.

Replying to a question from the media, the Home Secretary replied that efforts are on to make NH-39 safe and secured.

The matter has already been discussed with the Chief Secretaries and DGPs of Assam, Manipur and Nagaland; he informed and added that the Centre has already instructed the State Governments to provide adequate security along the highways.

To another question, Duggal said that the demand raised by the Sadar Hills District Demand Committee will be discussed at the appropriate level.

On the economic blockade launched by ANSAM, the Home Secretary minced no words and said that political issues should not be used as a tool to make the people suffer.

To meet any suffering in the face of such blockades, the Centre has held minute talks with the State Government, informed the Home Secretary.

On the primary objective of his visit to the State, Duggal said that he had come to Imphal to review the security measures taken up on the National Highways, to ensure adequate stock of essential commodities including petroleum products.