MHA moots private firms for NH-53
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, August 09 2010: Although the State Cabinet has decided to hand over the responsibility of maintaining and developing Imphal-Jiribam section of NH-53 to the State PWD after relieving the BRTF, the Ministry of Home Affairs is understood to be keen on the idea of handing the task to private companies.

A few days back, the Ministry of Home Affairs organised a joint meeting of the Ministry, BRTF, Transport and the State Government represented by the Resident Commissioner of Manipur Bhavan, New Delhi at the National capital.

During the meeting, the MHA raised the option of handing over the highway development and maintenance work to two private companies based outside Manipur.

The MHA put forth its suggestions to entrust the work to LMD Toppo and GAMMON after dividing the 222 kms long Imphal-Jiribam section between the two companies under an arrangement that one half would be under the supervision of the State PWD and the other half under BRTF.

However, the proposal was declined by the BRTF while the PWD highlighted the need to set up two more divisions of the department, should PWD handle Imphal-Jiribam section of NH-53, said a source.

Yet, no final decision has been adopted in this regard as no company based outside the State are likely to come forward to develop the highway with just Rs 20 crores whereas there is no competent local contractor to take up the work.

The ZSU has been opposing the Cabinet decision to hand over the responsibility to PWD.