IMPHAL, July 23: Works minister K Ranjit has pronounced as total flop the work being taken up by the Border Road Organisation for development of National Highway 37, formerly known as NH-53.
The minister stated this while answering to queries raised by the media persons at the sideline of an inspection tour of flood affected villages under the Sugnu Sub-division.
Ranjit sounds wholly dissatisfied with the pace and standard of implementation of the work. He opined that the speed of developing the deplorable road at the highway being executed by the BRO is unacceptable. He also contended that the quality of work is so poor that even after the BRO accomplished the projects, the expectation of the people will be betrayed.
However, as the state government does not have legal power to intervene in the execution of work by BRO, all that the state government can do in contributing to maintenance of the highway is to work parallel manner and carry out its own restoration work.
Sustaining his gloomy prediction for the highway, the minister maintained that during his five inspection tours along the highway the sluggish nature of work had disappointed him.
The BRO had been handed over the charge of maintaining and developing the national highway by the central government for the last 40 years and no substantial change is evident so far, he asserted.
Ranjit disclosed that he met the BRO officials on the nature of the work taken up along this route wherein they cited delay in sanction of fund from the ministry as the deterring factor.
Ranjit said that he even gone to the extent of verbally attacking the BRO officials to surrender the work to the state government taking into account their passive clarification.
Given the situation the government however will not leave any stone unturned to restore the highway to fulfill the peoples’ aspiration, he asserted.
The minister recalled that the in July 1 last year he along with Chief Minister, O Ibobi Singh, had apprised the Prime Minister requesting him to hand over the development works of NH-37 to the state government considering its importance after the prolonged blockade imposed by Naga NGOs at NH-39 and subsequent suspension of truckers from plying on NH-39. But they were informed of the commitment given to the BRO to finish the work by 2013.
He further maintained that the Chief Minister last month had drawn the attention of the Prime Minister to give priority on the development of this highway besides other developmental works to be taken up in the state.