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Nungba-Keimai Stretch On NH-53 A ‘˜Nightmare’

IMPHAL, Sep 8 : Even through there is report of marginal improvement in the overall condition of the Imphal-Jiribam section of National highway-53, major part of the route still remain unsuitable for passage of loaded vehicles.

This grim truth came to light during an inspection tour by a media team.

For a goods carrier to get through Nungba and Keimai it takes about 2/3 days as this particular stretch is pockmarked with slush and energy of vehicle operators stretched to the maximum in trying to negotiate through sharp turnings.

With the monsoon season yet to be over, condition of this road stretch is unlikely to improve upto the desired level if maximum effort is not put in.

At present, loaded vehicles are being towed past slushy areas with the help of heavy construction machinery such as JCBs and bulldozers.

For a goods carrier to pass this treacherous zone it takes no less than two days that too if no mechanical snag develops within the stretch.

The media team, which was supposed to assess the condition till Jiribam had to return from Nungba area last night as the vehicle got stuck after travelling about 3/4 kilometers towards Jiribam sub-division.

Inspite of changes in the travel itinerary, information has been received at Nungba that condition of the highway stretch in between Nungba and Keimai has improved slightly as loads of boulders and shingles have been placed at the most dilapidated areas. This has helped in preventing further deterioration of the sinking zone, a familiar condition on this route.

However, continuous rainfall and absence of drainage system mean that there is no stoppage to the flow of mud over the roadway thereby hampering smooth passage of loaded trucks.

With the prevailing condition of the road delaying movement of vehicle, several loaded trucks and passenger carriers are still waiting for their turn to pass through, at Kambiron and Barak areas of the Highway. At some areas, deep craters made by tire marks trap heavy vehicles thereby requiring assistance of JCBs/bulldozers.

Some vehicle operators, who managed to pass through the slushy section, opined that there is marginal improvement in the condition of the road even though there is still need for the assistance of JCBs and dozers for passage of loaded trucks through many slippery sections.

They also observed that vehicular movement would be far better if there is improvement at places where the road is slippery.

Interacting with media persons, Transporters and Drivers’ Council president H Ranjit described condition of the route as 80 percent better. Apart from the initiative of the Council to prevent further sinking of the highway, Ranjit cited contribution and cooperation by both the general public and the Government in the transportation of boulders and shingles to facilitate passage of loaded trucks and passenger carriers.

Exuding confidence of sustaining the joint effort to make the route conducive for continuous transportation of essential items on this route, Ranjit said when friendly weather condition prevails, constant supply of goods could be ensured.

Stressing on the need for continuous road development and repairing activities on this important route, Ranjit claimed that inspite of NH-53 being re-assigned to BRTF there is hardly any sign of deployment of the work agency’s personnel or machinery. He suggested that taking into account suffering of the common people of Manipur due to shortage of essential commodities; BRTF authorities begin work on a war footing.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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