Guwahati: The upcoming Asian Highway and rail connectivity are expected to do a lot of good things to Manipur. As hoped and expressed by the state Chief Minister N Biren Singh, with this new connectivity being established, the state could become the main gateway to Southeast Asia via the land route.
Notably, the construction process of the Asian Highway 1, that is, the National Highway 39 which is designed to pass through the state capital Imphal up to Moreh on the Indo-Myanmar border is in full swing and is expected to be opened for road communication by mid-2021.
As designed to be, the trans-Asian highway is going to connect several countries in the continent and the stretch through Manipur opens up wider possibilities for the north-eastern state to be connected to the Asian countries and play the lead role in connecting other Indian states.
CM Singh, speaking to the media on this matter, states, "Land related issued have been solved and land acquisition completed."
At the same time, the construction of the Jiribam-Imphal railway line too is underway which is expected to be completed by December 2020. Once this railway line starts being operational, it will make a historic inclusion of Manipur on the Indian Railway map. This railway line is calculated to be 111-km long, passing through several tunnels and a number of bridges for covering the hilly terrain to reach the Imphal valley.
As both ongoing constructions, the Asian Highway 1 and the new railway line are to open new doors of connectivity for Manipur, the chief minister hopes that its completion will bring much-needed attention to the state from entrepreneurs. At a time when a state has so long been tagged as underdeveloped and is plagued by the severe issue of insurgency, such new developments are posing as a ray of hope for the people and the government of the state. It is expected that with new doors of connectivity being opened and with people choosing to communicate with the state, things will change for good and will create a positive impression among outsiders.
Adding about the present condition in the state, the CM says, "Manipur is now a totally peaceful state."
The defence forces in the state, Army and Assam Rifles officials, however, say that although militancy is on the wane, extortion by many of these groups remains a problem. The CM too goes to admit the same and adds that a solution to this problem too will be found once successful deliberations are held with the insurgent groups.