TODAY -

Same old Imphal-Jiribam road during monsoons
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: September 27, 2021 -

 Pathetic road condition on Imphal-Jiribam highway (NH 37) :: 8th September 2021
Pathetic road condition on Imphal-Jiribam highway on 8 Sep 2021 :: Pix - Shankar Khangembam



WHILE it has been a tradition for government agencies and authorities to cite overloading by goods carriers as the primary reason whenever any of the out-of-date bridges along the Imphal-Jiribam stretch of the National Highway-37 got damaged, there's hardly any official reaction or response when transporters raise complaints about the same highway stretch remaining in poorshape for most part of the year.

Like it or not, condition of the highway resembles that of a highway only during the drier seasons while for the rest of the year pond-size craters, water flowing right in the middle of the road, vehicles stuck in the mud and slush, etc, have been the hallmark of the state's second lifeline.

Though overall condition of the said highway has improved to some extent, the ground reality is that during the rainy months various sections of the important route are not friendly for commuting leave alone operation of heavier trucks which remain the main source of ensuring constant flow of essential goods into the state.

Compared to the past when trucks used to be frequently half-buried in mud-filled craters the condition of the highway stretch has seen some improvement but it's an undeniable fact that drivers continue to experience serious inconveniences during the whole of monsoon season.

Work agencies generally swing into action after onset of drier months and start mending the potholes and blacktopping unmindful of the fact that the truckers operate every single day while enduring both poor condition of the road and armed thugs to ensure constant supply of goods for people of this landlocked state.

Such indifferent attitude of the authorities is exactly the reason why villagers settling along the route or transporter organisations are alleging lack of initiative by the government to properly maintain Manipur's sector of the particular national highway, which none other than the chief minister had compared to airport tarmac.

However, outcries and demands by villagers and truckers over pitiable condition of the highway imply that government's boisterous claims are not digestible. After having tolerated the hardships for months with no sigh of the government carrying out repair work, it is obvious that transport operators have decided to halt operation along the route.

To wake up the government from its deep slumber and spur repairing of the Imphal-Jiribam section of the NH-37, drivers operating along the highway under the aegis of All Jiribam Road Transport and Drivers' Union (AJRTDU) haVe announced steering off agitation for an indefinite period with effect from Monday.

If at all no understanding could be arrived at between the peeved AJRTDU and the government, then it is certain to trigger scarcity of goods and consequently would lead to public outcries as it is unimaginable for the state's meagre production of crops to meet the daily requirements of its ever increasing population.

With major festivals round the corner the public dissent would get even more intense and cause embarrassment to the government, though there is strong possibility that the latter would try to mollify the truckers by giving assurance of doing the needful.

Even if the agitation does not last long, the truckers have rung out the message loud and clear that they do not subscribe to the government authorities claiming that it is a people-friendly regime.

See a Photo Gallery on Imphal-Jiribam road on September 8 here



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