FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
IMPHAL Aug 30: Unscrupulous elements encouraged by the police iction are taking undue advantage of the tural and man made calamity to flee the common people who have nobody to turn to. Early this month a 200 metre breach following a massive rockslide in galand had suspended the vehicular traffic along the NH 2 which is a major lifeline of Manipur. One bus and several houses and shops had been dragged down along with the debris although there was no human casualty. It will one month or more to repair the breached area.
Because of the difficult terrain and topography construction of a bypass highway is out of question for the time being. Hundreds of lorries and other vehicles are stranded on either side of the breached portion.
NH 37 which links Imphal to Jiribam, adjacent to Silchar has many rickety and wobbly small bridges along the mountain highway.
Transporters have been very criticial of the repairing and extension works conducted by the Border Roads Task Force. Though serious charges had been levelled and the transporters had repaired the damaged highway the state government had failed to bring it to the notice of the higher authority. The photographs showing wallowing water buffaloes in the middle of the highway which appeared in the newspapers had failed to move the state and the central governments.
Six days ago the Barak bridge along NH 37 was damaged. Instead of planks, concrete or iron plate this small bridge had rows of wooden clubs over which the loaded lorries had to pass. This explains why the BRTF has been controlling the weight of the commodities that are transported along this highway. Though planks or iron plates could have been fixed in a few hours time some workers engaged in the slow motion works in the bridge told reporters on Sunday that it will take at least 20 days to complete the repairing works. In other words, nothing can be brought to Manipur in the meantime.
Since these highways and bridges are under the supervision of the BRTF the Manipur PWD or the CPWD cannot interfer. Earlier attempts by the
Manipur government to take charge of the supervision was rejected by
the union government.
Officials said on Sunday there is fuel to last just 3 days and it is anybody’s guess what the people will do after that. Till the time of
filing this report the government has not made any comment, leave aside take up the issue with the union government. Many consumer
items, baby foods, life saving drugs and other high demand items had vanished from the market.
In absence of approaches from the state government the central ministers are not even taking notice of the plight of the people.