Chief secretary O. Nabakishore Singh today officially appealed the centre to take immediate necessary action to ensure improvement of the road and bridges on NH-37 in order to prevent the worst scenario of cutting off the State from supply of essential commodities to the State.
Nabakishore Singh today sent a letter to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways concerning the connectivity problem when the NH-2 connecting Nagaland and Imphal has been cut off due to the economic blockade imposed by the United Naga Council.
The letter mentioned that the state government with the help of the Army, Assam Rifles and Central Para Military Forces has been providing escort for movement of trucks between Jiribam near Silcher and Imphal (NH-37) as an alternative measure.
Because of the non-maintenance/poor maintenance of NH-37 over the last many years by Border Roads Organisation mainly due to lack of fund (BRO mentioned that only a Sum of Rs.3.5 Crore was made available in a year for maintenance of 200 Kilometers in the hill terrains) the condition of the road has deteriorated very badly. Further, frequent movement of overloaded trucks of Contractors engaged by the Railway Board for construction of the Jiribam Railway Line has also contributed to the deterioration of the road. Now the monsoon/rainy season is about to set-in in the North-East which will make NH-37 unusable. Further the bridges over the rivers of Makru, Barak and Irang along NH-37, being Bailey Suspension Bridges have also broken down very frequently. At present the bridge over river Barak is under repair and all movement of goods has been suspended, mentioned the letter.
Even though the ministry has decided to transfer the maintenance of the road of NH- 37 from BRO to NHIDCL under your Ministry, nothing has been done by that Company to look after the maintenance of NH-37, added the later.
In the letter the chief secretary also highlighted that as the state has its legislative assembly scheduled on 4th and 8th March, 2017 for which the Election Commission of India has given strong directions to ensure availability of essential commodities specially petroleum products for smooth conduct of elections.