TODAY -

Rs 6 cr for filling in dug up road sides stays unutilized
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, October 03 2015 : Around Rs 6 crore deposited in the account of the State PWD by Bharti Airtel for filling in road sides dug up for laying telecom cables along Imphal-Moreh highway facing hill slopes remains unutilized till date.

Notably, the highway suffered major damages along Pallel-Lokchao section following heavy rainfall in June-July this year.

Now PWD has been working to repair the highway section and even heavy vehicles have been prohibited from travelling along the particular section.

Earlier, one high-ranking PWD official informed that the department proposed a tentative estimate of Rs 99 crore for repairing damaged National Highways.

Incidentally, many are of the opinion that the degree of damages suffered by Imphal-Moreh highway following heavy rainfall and consequent landslides was aggravated by failure to fill in road sides dug up for laying telecom cables.



A badly damaged section of Imphal-Moreh highway
A badly damaged section of Imphal-Moreh highway


In independent survey conducted by The Sangai Express revealed that the road sides dug up for laying cables still remain like drains along many sections of Imphal-Moreh highway.

It appeared that these drain-like excavations where water have been flowing in continuously led to development of cracks across the road surface at different places.

In case the drain-like excavation made for laying telecom cables contributed to the damages done on the highway, it remains a big question as to why the amount of Rs 5,77,29,508 deposited with PWD by Bharti Airtel was not utilized in time to fill up the excavations.

Bharti Airtel deposited the same amount with the PWD National Highway Division-II EE on November 25, 2014.However, no process was initiated to fill up the road sides dug up for laying cables before the onset of rainy season.

Even today, no official procedure has been initiated to utilize the same amount.

On the other hand, as against a tentative estimate of Rs 99 crore submitted by PWD NH Division to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, the Ministry has sanctioned only Rs 6.36 crore for repairing flood damaged highway sections.

Notably before the amount of Rs 6.36 crore was sanctioned, one regional officer of MoRTH based at Guwahati made a direct assessment of highway sections damaged by floods and landslides.

The fact that the Ministry sanctioned only Rs 6.36 crore even after knowing the extent of damages suffered by highways suggests that the Ministry has knowledge about Rs 5,77,29,500 deposited by Bharti Airtel with the State PWD.

Although maintenance of Imphal-Moreh highway is done by the State PWD, it is under MoRTH being a National Highway.

As such, the Ministry may quiz the State PWD for not utilizing the amount of Rs 5,77,29,500 deposited by Bharti Airtel, said a source.


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