NEW DELHI, May 2: Manipur Minister of Works and Transport Dr. Kh. Ratankumar Singh today raised many issues for improvement of various tiol Highways in Manipur. He was speaking at the meeting of the Chief Ministers and PWD Ministers of the North Eastern Region including Sikkim held at Hotel Radisson Blu, Guwahati, which was chaired by Union Minister of Road, Transport and Shipping Nitin Gadkari .
The Union Minister committed Rs. 15000 crore for development of road infrastructure for northeast for the fincial year 2015-16.
Referring to the NH 37 (N) known as Imphal -Jiribam Road, Dr. Ratankumar stated that out of the total length 222 km, the maintence of the major length of the road was carried out by the Border Road Organization except 3,220 km length which was under the State PWD. Of the total length of the highway, 30 percent of the road was yet to be provided black top surface.
Highlighting the Barak Bridge and Makru Bridge, both Bailey suspension bridges on the highway, Manipur Works Minister drew the attention of the Union Minister of Road, Transport and Highways to construct permanent bridges so as to make it capable of carrying IRC Class AA loading. These bridges could cater lesser loading upto the maximum of 24 tons. The Minister also reported that the construction bring the NH 37 (N) into a better condition so that there were no more semi-permanent bridges on the road.
The Minister Ratankumer also stated that the approaches of the Makru Bridge for about 3 Km each on either side were in bad condition and no work was taken up to upgrade the road. He requested to the Union Minister to repair it on was footing before the onset of monsoon. He said the NH 37 (N) was the vital lifeline of Manipur which required to be kept traffic worthy throughout the year so that the road could be utilized during Bandh or blockade on other lifeline NH (N).
Referring to NH 2 (N) which origited from Numaligarh in Assam passing through Dimapur- Kohima-Imphal – Churachandpur-Tipaimukh upto Aizawl in Mizoram; PWD Minister stated that the stretch of road from Mao to Churachandpur was looked after by the state PWD and and Churachandpur to Tipaimukh by the BRO. He stated that the Bailey bridge at Tipaimukh over the Tuivai River under the jurisdiction of PWD Mizoram was not safe and functiol and requested to construct it a permanent bridge. Describing the NH a very important road link connecting neighbouring states, he requested to make the whole stretch of the NH in good condition.
Referring to NH 102 (N), Dr. Ratankumar said the road connected Myanmar via Moreh, the border town and intertiol market centre doing free trade of the India with Myanmar. It acted as the main gateway for the Act East Policy of India. He drew the attention of the Union Minister to convert the double lane highway into the four-lane considering its future potential. He stated that the Minister of Road, Transport and Highway was taking up a project for four-laning the Highway from Imphal to Pallel and requested to consider for four-laning the whole stretch of the highway. The highway was also Asian Highway-1 connecting the far eastern countries of Asia, he added.
Dr. Ratankumar recalled the construction of East West corridor connecting Porbandar in Gujarat to Silchar in Assam during the previous NDA government led by the Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. He stated that the present government under the leadership of rendra Modi was implementing the Look East Policy as Act East Policy to integrate the country with the South East Asian economies. Unless the East West Corridor was extended from Silchar to Imphal and further to Moreh, the border town with Myanmar, it would be difficult to realize the Act East Policy as a seamless movement of goods and people between India and South East Asian Countries was imminent. He urged upon the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highway to declare the extension of East West Corridor upto Moreh in Manipur.
On top priority, Manipur Works Minister demanded the Union Minister to instruct the BRO to complete the black topping of the NH 37 (N) on war footing before the onset of monsoon. He reported that the BRO made assurances time and again to the State government for completion of the blacktopping. The target date of the first assurance made by the BRO was December 2013, and then March 2014 and then December 2014 as last assurance which failed to comply.
He stated that the state Government had been requesting the Centre many times to construct the Barak Bridge as well as Makru Bridge permanently. He requested the Union Minister to give a serious attention to the matter and track the status of the preparation of the DPRs of these two bridges on top priority.
The Works Minister mentioned that the Ministry had recently declared NH 157 (N) which was earlier the State highway and the PWD Manipur proposed a sum of Rs 300 crore in the annual Plan 2015-16 for improving the total stretch of 145 km of the highway. He requested the Union Minister for approval of the proposal as special case since the highway was an important highway in the valley of Manipur, which would benefit the economy of the state to a large extent. Dr. Ratankumar invited the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highway Nitin Gadkari to Manipur in his next visit so that he could have a first-hand experience on the development of road works in Manipur.