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ZSUM Decries Highway Politics

IMPHAL, Oct 5: Zeliangrong Students’ Union, Manipur (ZSUM) has deplored the way the Government of Manipur and its Public Works Department have been handling the improvement works of the National Highway 53 since the controversial took over from the BRO.

In a statement, State secretary of ZSUM Chungthuigai Kamei alleged that the Highway from Nungba to Jiribam, which is distance of 97 kms, has become a den of corruption.

Pointing out that the cost of transportation of a truck carrying boulders from Langjing to Barak area is reported to be around Rs 30,944 plus the bonus of Rs 5000 per truck, Chungthuigai asserted that the trucks being used for the work are public carriers plying between Imphal-Jiribam or Silchar. Their duty is just to unload the boulders on the highway and proceed to their respective destinations for bringing back essential commodities to Imphal.

How can one charge so much for that purpose? the Chungthuigai questioned,  and added that here the Ministers, contractors, engineers and suppliers, transporters and Drivers’ Council are the stakeholders.

That is why TDC has been cautioning the trucks plying along National Highway 39 every now and then on the pretext of extortion by UGs and Nagaland Police, Chungthuigai contended and said that we need to investigate into how crores of public money is being looted in this way.

Calling upon the Government of Manipur to immediately hand over maintenance of National Highway 53 to BRO in public interest, he observed that the Government/PWD should first of all make the roads in Imphal Municipal area all-weather road and free from pollution and it is a shame for all Manipuris to have dusty road in the heart of the State capital.

Quoting report that maintenance of the road stretch from Khongsang to Haflong via Tousem has been handed over to BRO with funding from Special Accelerated Development Fund of the Government of India, Chungtheigai lamented that the Government of Manipur has not handed over the road to BRO till date.

He also demanded that the construction of the road should be extended upto Haflong for the benefit of the people in Tousem area.

Barak River at Dikuiram has not been completed even though the work was started 5 years back; he also demanded that the construction of the bridge should be completed before Christmas.

Otherwise, ZSUM in collaboration with other social organization should take up appropriate action, he warned. Chungtheigai also pointed out that IT Road is no more motorable and Old Cachar Road is in deep mud with no shingling, black topping and drainage.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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