TODAY -

Woes on NH 37: No quick solution at sight
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, October 19 2019: Although transporters as well as general public travelling along Imphal-Jiribam high-way (NH 37) have been enduring several difficulties, there is no quick solution at sight.

Talking to The Sangai Express, people travelling along the highway as well as agencies looking after it say that everyone has been facing difficulties on the highway.

Even though people assume that Imphal-Jiribam highway has improved a lot, the highway has not been constructed anew, all the activities on the highway at the moment are restricted to maintenance works.

Nonetheless, a DPR is being prepared to develop NH 37 as a standard highway.

As of now, the highway's Right of Way is limited to just two lanes.

If the DPR being prepared is approved by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) and the highway is constructed anew, it would be expanded to four lanes.

In the meantime, most bailey bridges of the highway which are of British era have been replaced by RCC bridges.

Once the construction of Makru Bridge is completed, two more bailey bridges would be laid off.

Tender process for construction of Irang Bridge with RCC is also nearing completion, said a source.

Both Barak Bridge and Makru Bridge are plagued with problems every now and then.

People particularly transporters plying on NH 37 were euphoric when it was announced that Barak and Makru bridges would be constructed anew with RCC.

The agreement signed at the end of the tender process for constructing Barak and Makru bridges must be complied with by all concerned parties.

Certain clauses of the agreement give some additional periods in case the bridge construction works are not completed within the stipulated periods.

The same clauses also lay down the type of action that may be initiated if the bridge construction works cannot be completed even after the expiry of the extended periods.

The existing Barak, Makru and Irang bridges are quite old and outdated.

It is a common knowledge that these bridges break down every now and then on account of movement of heavy trucks which are not appropriate to their strengths.

Even though there is a prohibition which says that vehicles carrying loads heavier than 24 tonnes including the weight of vehicles should not cross these bridges, most of the vehicles plying on the highway have been carrying loads heavier than 24 tonnes.

At the same time, the Government has not been strictly enforcing the particular prohibition.

There is an apprehension that if the particular prohibition is enforced strictly, prices of all commodities may escalate dramatically and there may not be any driver willing to ply on the highway, said the source.

In the meantime, the volume of vehicular traffic on NH 37 has increased manifold since it saw remarkable improvement.

POL and LPG trucks which earlier plied on Imphal-Dimapur highway are now plying on NH 37 after the Imphal-Dimapur highway broke down.

Due to incessant movement of a large number of trucks everyday, a 15 Kms long section in Kambiron-Kaimai area could not be repaired till date.

Given these realities, there is no quick solution at sight and everyone must bear the inconveniences for sometime, said the source.


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