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M’pur proposal to maintain NH 39 rejected
Correspondent IMPHAL, FEB 11:
Published on 12 Feb. 2009 1:12 AM IST
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Manipur government’s proposal for handing over construction and maintenance of the entire length of National Highway-39 (Imphal-Mao) lying within the state has been turned down by the Union ministry of shipping, road transport and highways, official source here disclosed Wednesday. Manipur cabinet in its one of the seating held during the month of January took a decision to take over the construction and maintenance works of NH-39. Official source said the decision was taken in view of the paucity of fund released for maintenance of the National Highways and alleging unsatisfactory performance of the Border Road Organisation (BRO) in the upkeep of the National Highways under its jurisdiction. Giving a hint of the ministry’s declination to the state’s request, the source said that there is a liability of Rs 15.86 crore for the Maram-Imphal sector (under state PWD). Rs 2.30 crores and Rs 1,085 crore have been provided by the union ministry for the maintenance of all highways in Manipur (under state PWD) measuring about 281.59 kms for 2007-08 and 2008-09 respectively. A sum of Rs 84 lakhs is annually expended for payment of wages to master roll and work charged staff of PWD from charged staff of PWD from the fund provided by the government of India for maintenance of National Highways. As such, state government observed that the fund provided for maintenance of the NHs is too meager to execute works properly. It is on this background that the state cabinet in its meeting held on November 25, 2008 has approved to provide a sum of Rs 2 crore from the state budget for 2008-09 for completion of the ongoing maintenance works of NH-39, the source said. However, the observation of state government is in contrast with the earlier decision in early 2008 when the state government with the approval of the state cabinet had requested the Union ministry of shipping, road transport and highways to hand over the entire length of the NHs no. 39, 53 and 150 in Manipur to the Border Roads Organisation for construction and maintenance. In compliance to the state government request, the ministry issued Gazette Notification on February 5, 2008 for entrustment of the development and maintenance of the stretch from Maram to Imphal (Km 236 to km 311) on NH-39 to the BRO. However, till date BRO has not taken charge as the conditions set by them before the state PWD is yet to be fulfilled. The conditions set by the BRO were to complete all on going works through contract, completion of the bridges under construction and clear the liabilities of the state government before taking over.BRO could not take the entrusted work as the ongoing work for the 1.7 km stretch of the highway is yet to be completed by the PWD department.

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