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For A Cause, But Rs 15 Crores Is The Sum, Zero Is The Work

IMPHAL, Nov 22: For the unsuccessful efforts of repairing Imphal-Jiribam section of NH-53 during the last rainy season, the State Government is set to spend Rs 15 crores.

A reliable source informed that the Government has agreed in-principle to sanction the amount from the Chief Minister’s Special Development Fund so as to meet the expenditures and bills incurred during the unsuccessful efforts to repair the highway.

Following the prolonged blockades on national highways against holding ADC elections and subsequent decision of the transporters not to take NH-39, the State Government was compelled to repair/develop NH-53 together with the bridges as a matter of exigency.

In view of the pressing situation, the SPF Government took a bold decision to repair the then highly deplorable Imphal-Jiribam highway to serviceable condition within a specific time period. Accordingly, seven contractors were nominated and a large number of machinery was requisitioned for repairing the highway.

However, on account of the continuous movement of heavy vehicles and the season being rainy season, condition of the highway only worsened rather than improving.

On the other hand, most of the machinery sent for repairing the highway was engaged most of the time in pulling up loaded vehicles which regularly got slipped or stuck in slouchy spots.

When the contractors and their machinery were unable to start their assigned task, the Government of India took a decision to keep NH 53 under the care of BRO.

Following this development, the seven contractors and all their machinery were pulled out even before they could begin repairing the highway.

Although the machinery was used in pulling up or towing vehicles rather than repairing the highway, the contractors spent a large amount of money.

Regardless of whether the highway was repaired or not, the State Government is obliged to pay for the expenditures incurred by the contractors as they were sent to repair the highway by the Government.

Considering all the points, the Government has agreed in-principle to pay Rs 15 crores to the contractors.

Notably, the Chief Minister’s Special Development Fund was set aside from the annual plan amount to meet exigencies.

The same fund is also used in paying compensation for lands acquired for expansion of roads, added the source.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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