NH-53 receives Centre's blessings with promises of funds and security
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, August 11: Taking cognizance of the 52 days crippling economic blockade imposed by the All Naga Students' Association, Manipur on the two National Highways and the need to develop a second lifeline for Manipur, the Centre has assured the State Government that it will pump in all the necessary funds for the development of NH-53.The Centre has also agreed to deploy the necessary Central security forces to provide protection along NH-53 and to over see the situation in the State, Union Home Secretary VK Duggal is scheduled to arrive here on August 17.Speaking to The Sangai Express an official source said that the Centre has agreed to pump in the required funds to convert NH-53 to a double lane National Highway and make it fit for free movement of traffic.

The Centre has also agreed to deploy the necessary security force on this route to provide security, said the source and added that to see the situation in the backdrop of the economic blockade imposed by ANSAM, Union Home Secretary VK Duggal will arrive at Imphal on August 17.Some days back, the Union Home Secretary had summoned Chief Secretary Jarnail Singh and DGP AK Parashar to New Delhi to discuss the situation in the State following the economic blockade imposed by ANSAM and actively supported by the Naga Students' Federation.

The Chief Secretary and DGP of Nagaland were also present at the meeting convened by Duggal.

During his visit to Imphal the Union Home Secretary is scheduled to meet the Governor, Chief Minister and other officials concerned.

Other than promising the required funds and security deployment, the Centre has also asked the BRTF to speed up the developmental works of NH-53, added the source.

Even as VK Duggal is scheduled to arrive here on August 17, ANSAM had decided to withdraw its economic blockade with effect from 12 noon of August 11.Meanwhile the two officials from the Prime Minister Office, who arrived here yesterday to over see the situation at the instructions of the Prime Minister visited Churachandpur today to get a first hand account of the sufferings faced by the people.

The two officials are the Joint Secretary Sanjoy Mitra and Director Sanjoy Krishna.

The Joint Secretary and the Director are scheduled to leave Imphal tomorrow.

The officials from the PMO on arrival yesterday met Governor Dr SS Sidhu at the Raj Bhawan.

They also met the Chief Minister at his Babupara official residence and held in-depth discussion on the situation, said sources.