Imphal(Manipur) [India], Oct.15 (ANI
): National Highway 37 that links Manipur with mainland India via Silchar and Jiribam is still in a deplorable state.
Despite repeated promises by the administration, this route has not seen much of construction.
On June 13 2014, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari had assured the Manipur unit of the BJP that development of the 122-km-long Imphal-Jiribam Highway, the second lifeline of Manipur, would be included in the 100-day agenda of the Narendra Modi-led NDA government.
Also, Narendra Modi, during his address at an election rally held in Imphal in February 2014, had promised to develop the highway - which connects Imphal and Cachar in Assam on a priority basis if the BJP came to power in Delhi.
During the economic blockade of National Highway-2 (previously National Highway-39) which lasted for few years back, the concerned ministers promised that NH-37, the alternative lifeline of Manipur will be repaired and maintained in such a way that we don't have to depend on NH-2, but the promises have vanished into thin air.
Such is the fate of NH 37. Due to bad transport facility, Manipur is lagging behind in almost all spheres of development compared to its neighbouring states viz Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura. Most of the visits and inspections by concerned authorities turned out to be only a game to gain political mileu.
Even though the Centre is spending huge amount of fund to complete repairing work along Imphal-Jiri road, the condition of the highway continues to remain in its worst due to poor progress in work and frequent occurrence of landslides.
Manipur has only two supply routes. The other supply route is Imphal-Dimapur highway (NH 2), the main supply route as it is shorter and road condition is better.
Manipur always faces scarcity of essential commodities whenever there is an economic blockade on the two national highways, mostly by Naga organisations, to highlight their grievances. There were times when the Centre had to air-drop medicines and essential items during prolonged blockades.
Supply trucks prefer the Imphal-Jiribam Highway because of a lower risk factor, fewer incidents of extortion and it is easier for the government to control the road. However, they are shunning this because of the "horrible" road condition.
The Border Roads Task Force has been maintaining the road. (ANI