The State government is very much concerned and involved with restoration works of national highways in the State, asserted Public Works Minister Shri Thongam Biswajit Singh, today.
Addressing a press conference inside his New Secretariat conference hall, Minister Biswajit said that despite all the hindrances including the present weather conditions, the government is fully concerned with improving the condition of the highways considered lifelines of the State.
He elaborated owing to the monsoon season, restoration works at different stretches of the highways especially the Imphal-Mao highway is affected; however, there is no discontinuation of work, he added.
Under strict instruction of the Chief Minister, the present BJP-led government is concerned in improving road conditions especially in the hill districts, the Minister observed. He explained all these steps are not short term policies, but long term goals to improve the highway conditions.
The Minister also said that he had earlier inspected the Mao-Maram highway stretch and as assured during the inspection, work to fill the potholes along the highway has already been started.
During the inspection tour, the worst road stretches were identified at Kuki Taphou to Maram and from Maram to Mao, however, the road condition at these stretches have improved considerably since restoration work began. However, since black topping is not possible during the rainy season, all attempts to fill up the potholes are washed away whenever heavy vehicles passed by, he explained.
He continued stone boulders and chips have been piled up along the roadside of the highway so that potholes could be filled up for the convenience of the truck drivers and commuters as a stop-gate arrangement as black-topping is not possible during the monsoon.
He said black topping of the highway will be initiated at the earliest once the rainy season is over.
On the lack of work progress along the highway stretch at Motbung, Henbung, Kangpokpi, Khongnem, Minister Biswajit sought cooperation from the people saying that support of the people is of utmost importance to successfully implement a developmental work. He said works at T Khullen and Kuki Taphou are underway at the moment.
The Minister said the Imphal-Dimapur Highway is considered an important lifeline of the State and as such restoration works are continuing at different stretches along the highway.
Citing an instance when an additional chief engineer of the department rushed to a landslide affected site at night taking heavy machineries like the JCB to clear the landslide debris immediately, the Minister also urged the people to understand the hindrances the department and its officials have to undergo especially during the rains in undertaking road restoration works.
Observing that overloaded trucks are another cause for bad road conditions, the Minister said he will consult with the Chief Minister the feasibility of re-imposing a weight limit for trucks passing along the highway.
Minister Biswajit said condition of the Imphal-Jiribam Highway has also improved considerably. He said although works along the highway are undertaken by the NHIDCL, engineers of the PWD inspect the restoration works every week, because the highway is considered an important lifeline of the State.
The Minister was accompanied by chief engineer Shri Ch.Tiken and additional chief engineer Shri N. Noren.