Only 50/60 trucks to hit trail today, says 2nd MR CO
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 18: After Chief Minister O Ibobi earlier informed the Assembly that the Imphal-Jiri line would be opened by July 15, the stage is set for this highway to be opened to traffic and during the last two/three days, 184 trucks have been assembled at Kangla to take the �historic� drive.

However the CO of 2nd Manipur Rifles, which will provide the security cover to the vehicles, informed the press today that contrary to the information provided by the CM in the Assembly today that about 200 trucks will leave along this route tomorrow, only 50 trucks will be escorted due to the conditions of the highway.

Out of the 184 trucks assembled at Kangla, 126 are goods trucks, 32 LPG carriers, 23 oil tankers, two 407 Mini Tatas, and one 207 DI Tata.

The CO of 2nd MR personally came to Kangla today evening to over see the preparations being made for the trucks to travel across NH-53. Speaking to the press, the CO said that only 50 trucks will leave in the first batch tomorrow, as the BRTF authority has already intimated that the conditions of the road will not be able to accommodate more than 50 trucks.

Expressing relief at the prospect of travelling over NH-53, secretary of the All Manipur Drivers' Welfare Association and some drivers told newsmen inside Kangla today that if the Government is intent on developing NH-53 with an eye on the future, then each driver will contribute Rs 1000 for the work.

If needed, further assistance will also be given, they said.

The secretary said that the action of the Government is timely and urged the Government to work out a permanent policy so that NH-53 is open to traffic at all times and not only during the present crisis.

As per a decision of the Government, priority will first be given to oil tankers and LPG carriers as the people are facing acute shortage of petrol and LPG at the moment.

All the 23 oil tankers (diesel and petrol) will be included in the 50 trucks to leave in the first batch tomorrow.

There will be 10 LPG carriers while goods trucks will make up the rest of the 50 strong vehicles.

If needed efforts will be made to include 60 trucks in the first phase.

The trucks to leave tomorrow will line up at 5 am and will leave at 6 am sharp.

Security escorts will travel in 23 vehicles and they will be divided into six teams to give maximum security coverage to the trucks.