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Illegal structures along National Highways ignored by state authorities

Laishram Ranbir *

Illegal structures along National Highways
Illegal structures along National Highways :: Pix - Imphal Times



Illegal constructions continue to come up along the National Highways of Manipur with the coming of the Northeast Railway Frontier works while the concern departments are busy playing blame games over the pathetic road conditions.

We all have travelled along the National Highways of the State which connect with other states and only complained about the road conditions. We even read on print and electronic media about vehicles stuck and sometimes in worst situation news.

But have we ever notice what is happening along the roadside of the very highways we travelled to and fro, everyday?

In our mind, all we see is just the houses and only think of how will they be eating and sleeping while the highway roads is so pathetic and full of dust. But no one bothers to rise a question in their minds that why these houses are being built alongside the highways, are they legal or illegal.

The basic principles for development of and construction in the stretches running alongside the highways are, no construction should be allowed up to a particular distance from both edges of a highway and beyond that line up to another particular distance construction should be allowed only with specific permission. However, there are no unified central norms and each state has its own, even in our state.

Worse part is that these norms are observed more in the breach and the resultant mess on both sides of our highways can rarely be corrected once the construction is over. Also, it leaves no future scope of widening of the highway roads.

Risk of losing someone live is very high for those houses built alongside the highway roads as anything can happen to the plying vehicles which can land on these houses.

While going through the highways, many houses built up along the roadside of the highways were notice. Some of the houses have put up fencing just over the concrete road which looks like claiming the very part of the road belongs to whoever built the house.

It cannot be deny to say that most of the houses built are not meant to be for human adaptation as these houses do not have doors, no windows, just a hollow space inside where no bed or any household materials could fit in.

These houses have been built with any materials available nearby like woods, tin which have been left over during road repairing, etc.

“The land alongside the highway belongs to them. Needs no documents to proof, these are our ancestral land and we all have the right to claim, if it is anywhere in hill areas,” says a house owner whose name do not want to be mention.

Passing through, most of the houses have been staying lock up for decades which could prove that they were built for namesake to show to the concern department that they have houses at the time roadside inspections or surveys.

Some of these houses are constructed in such a way that it looks like a running shops which open once in a blue moon and some as for resting after traveling or working for long hour at the hill side, even cloths have been left hanging.

The main reasons for highway roads becoming narrower that passing of two vehicles has become tough day by day are the construction of houses which have been increasing in vast along the roadside mostly at each corner turning of the highway roads.

When will the concern department took into notice of such illegal or legal construction of houses which effecting the vehicular movement along the highway roads. When the time of compensation, will it be made available to such houses built along the roadside of the National Highway where no human can ever lived for?

So far, what are the plans that concern department have come up, only putting up crores of budget to the center to be sanction just to take their own benefit out of it instead of maintaining the highways. When will the National Highways Act, 1956, National Highway (Land and Traffic) Act, 2002 will come into act.

“Travelers have asked how these roads in pathetic condition where houses are built just right on the concrete roadways putting up fencing are being called the National Highways of Manipur.”

If such houses were built on the roadside of the state highways or in valley areas, concern department will take up immediate action and vandalise the property claiming the land acquisition act have been violated


* Laishram Ranbir wrote this article for Imphal Times
This article was posted on October 23, 2016.


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