After 30 days of crippling blockade, Centre nudges State with NH-37 option
Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, September 07 2011:
With National Highway 2 literally cut off for more than 30 days since August 1, the Centre has asked the State Government to look towards NH-37 and to extend all possible co-operation towards the BRTF, which has been assigned with the task of constructing and maintaining this route, generally known as the Imphal-Jiribam line.
Supply of essential commodities, including fuel and even life saving drugs have been hit hard by the general strike and highway blockade imposed by the Sadar Hills Districthood Demand Committee in pursuit of their demand to grant district status on Sadar Hills since August 1 this year.
The general strike was suspended yesterday but the blockade is still on.
On the other hand the decision of the United Naga Council to impose a total bandh and replacing it with economic blockade to oppose any design of the State Government to grant district status on Sadar Hills has compounded the matter.
The instruction of the Centre was passed on by Union Cabinet Secretary Ajit Kumar during a video conference with officials of the Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Department today.
Speaking to The Sangai Express an official source said that the Union Cabinet Secretary issued the instruction during a video conference with the Commissioner of CAF and PD, H Imocha and its Director M Yaiskul today.
As per the instruction, the State Government is to extend material and labour assistance to the BRTF in repairing the worst portion of NH-37 .
Following the instruction from the Centre, the 765 BRTF, which is in charge of the highway has approached the State PWD to extend all possible help as they are poorly equipped.
With the CRPF authority deciding to suspend the ROP duty along this highway for about a week, the Union Cabinet Secretary asked the State Government to deploy State forces to do the same, said the source further.
The CAF and PD officials who were present at the video conference assured that the matter would be taken up with the State Government to do the needful.
After the video conference wound up, State officials then drew up an Action Plan to allow the transportation of petroleum products through NH-37 and the same has been sent to the Union Cabinet Secretary.
After the infamous 52 days economic blockade imposed by ANSAM in 2005, efforts were taken up to improve the Imphal-Jiribam line, but even six years down the line, no improvement has come about.