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Manipur intellectuals want NH 53 as lifeline
Correspondent IMPHAL, Jun 20:
Published on 21 Jun. 2010 12:06 AM IST
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Intellectuals in Manipur who spoke at the 1st Road Congress (National Highway) held at Manipur Press Club auditorium Sunday have raised the need to develop NH - 53 as the lifeline of the state considering the “present and future vision.” The speakers recalled the importance of NH-53 in terms of historical as well as cultural aspects of Manipur. They said the NH-39 was developed only for trade and commerce purpose by the British colonial rule in 1932.
Former Registrar of Manipur University, Dr R. K. Ranjan said that the route played a very important role during early period and it was only after the coming up of NH-39 in 1932 that the route was neglected.
Chief Engineer of the Manipur PWD observed that authority identified seven portions on the stretch of NH-53 as landslide prone areas.
Excepting this point, the engineer said there was no other problem in making the highway the lifeline of the people of Manipur.
Shama Khaba, a member of the organising body, United Club NH-53, recalled that in 2005 when ANSAM imposed same economic blockade for 52 days, the then people’s resolution for making the highway an alternative lifeline of the state was forgotten in due course of time.
“This time let’s not forget,” he said urging the state government to take up appropriate measures considering that the matter was a question of life and death for the entire people of the state.
Retired Justice of the District Session and Judge Court, C. Upendra who graced the occasion as chief guest strongly criticized Manipur government for expressing regret to a student body in Nagaland when the state force did nothing wrong outside the purview of the law.
“It is shameful on the part of the state government that it expressed regret when its force obeyed its order in enforcing the prohibitory order promulgated under section 144 of CrPC. Instead of conveying regret message, justification to the barring of the students’ leaders should have been provided,” he said.
He demanded that the government take up improvement works of the NH-53 on war footing as there was no surety for free passage of Manipur vehicles on the NH-39.
The issue raised could be a morale booster for the agitating Transporters’ and Drivers’ Council, the apex body of commercial vehicles operating on the National Highways, which is refusing to resume normal service on the Imphal-Dimapur section of the NH-39.
Sticking to its decision, not to ply along the Imphal-Dimapur section of the
NH-39 even as ban on Manipur vehicles in Nagaland and ANSAM sponsored economic blockade on the national highways were suspended, the TDC members on Sunday also detained 10 freight trucks headed for Imphal on the NH-39 from Dimapur side at Sekmai area before reaching Imphal, a report said.

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