“Transporters will start a cease work strike if National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL) fails to complete the renovation of Imphal-Jiribam national highway (NH- 37) within 10 days,” threatens president of Transporters’ and Drivers’ Council (TDC), Hijam Ranjit.
Speaking to the media at the M.G. Avenue head office of the transporters, Ranjit alleged that NHIDCL has been ignoring renovation work of Barak and Makru bridges along NH-37 to get some benefits.
NHIDCL mentioned earlier that renovation of the two bridges will be completed by April 2020, he said. “However, in a local daily, an official of NHIDCL who chose to remain anonymous reported that the renovation work will be completed by 2020. But he did not mention a specific month,” he added.
Ranjit while demanding that the official must disclose his or her identity said that by hiding the identity, NHIDCL cannot cover up its dirty activities which were carried out for its own vested interests. NHIDCL must clarify why the deadline for completion of renovation work has been changed, he demanded.
He further said renovation work of the two bridges is continuing but labours were hardly seen at the construction site. At this pace, the bridge might not be complete within the deadline, he added.
During the renovation work of the two bridges, maintenance of temporary work must be carried out by NHIDCL, but condition of the two bridges and the highway is becoming one of the worst in the country though it is announced as a developed one, said Ranjit.
One of the most important festivals of Manipur, Ningol Chakouba falls on the last week of this month but with the deplorable condition of the two bridges, transporters are facing hardship, he said.
If NHIDCL cannot maintain the two bridges, then it must surrender the work so that TDC could carry out the maintenance in the interest of the public. Ranjit further said, TDC carried out maintenance of the two bridges and the national highway in past year without taking any charges.
Renovation and maintenance of the two bridges must start anyhow within 10 days, or else TDC might take up a ‘steering down’ strike along the national high way, he cautioned.