Lethargic BRO Peeves Minister

The Ministerial team assessing condition of NH-53 during the tour of the Imphal-Jiribam section. Image Credit: Sangai Photo

IMPHAL, May 5: Not impressed on seeing lack of progress in the National Highway-53 development   work taken up by the Border Roads Organization (BRO) a visibly upset Works Minister K Ranjit has advised BRO officials present at the work site to surrender the assignment to the State Government in case the task could not be completed within the stipulated period.

On a two-day inspection tour of the ImphalJiribam section of the highway and accompanied by Manipur Pollution Control Board Chairman Dr E Dwijamani, Principal Secretary (Works) Ram Muivah, PWD Chief Engineer Loken and other top officials of the Department, Minister Ranjit asked BRO officials at various points of the route for a joint inspection yesterday.

Noting that nothing substantial has been achieved with regard to repairing/development of the Highway stretch inspite of the BRO entrusted with the task, Ranjit expressed remorse that condition of the road at present is similar to that of 4-5 years ago.

When BRO officials were asked to explain on the lethargic pace of the highway development work, an official of BRO’s 5th RCC Unit namely SP Singh cited delay in fund sanction by the Central Government as one of the factors.

While stating that the fund was released only at the fag end of April month, the BRO officer asserted that as the sanction order has been approved machines and adequate man power would be pressed into service to expedite the work.

As the Minister insisted that the BRO officer be precise on when the work would actually resume, SP Singh set today (May 5) to commence the road development work.

Consequently, the Minister extended his inspection tour for another day and stayed at Jiribam in order to assess commitment of the BRO in the assigned task.

As assured by the officer, BRO personnel along with heavy machines were spotted by a team of journalists working at various section of the highway.

Interacting with the scribes, Minister Ranjit recounted that owing to frequent disturbances caused to transport operators along the lifelines of the State, he accompanied Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh to prevail upon the Prime Minister in 2010 to hand over the Highway development task to the State Government.

Further informing that the Central Govt wanted to assess BRO’s performance and commitment in completing the assignment within a three-year period, Ranjit said submitting to the Centre’s instruction the State Govt refrained from interfering in the BRO activities.

Asserting that the SPF Govt is determined to develop the Imphal-Jiribam route to a standard highway, he also described as unfounded allegations from certain section of the society that the State Government is neglecting NH-53.

Ranjit, however, informed that as the BRO is unlikely to complete the task within the stipulated period, the SPF Govt decided to take over Highway development responsibility from Barak section upto Imphal.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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