TDC warns shutdown of NH 37 over creaky bridges

IMPHAL, 9th Oct: Demanding National Highway Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) to repair the existing Barak and Makru bridges before Ningol Chakkouba, Transporters and Drivers’ Council (TDC) has warned of National Highway 37 (Imphal-Jiribam) shutdown if the demand is not honoured.
Addressing a press meet at its MG Avenue office here on Wednesday, TDC president H Ranjit said that vehicles plying along the NH 37 do not affect the construction of the new bridges of Barak and Makru at all as the new bridges are located long distance away from the existing ones. As such, NHIDCL cannot blame normal traffic on the existing bridges as the reason for the delay in the construction works.
Pointing out that the new RCC bridges are being constructed with the completion deadline of April 2020 but NHIDCL stopped construction work in the current year, Ranjit said that NHIDCL delayed the project deliberately to get additional fund through cost revision by citing price escalation. He also alleged NHIDCL of indulging in the same tactic used by BRO in the past.
He then said that TDC cannot agree with the statement of delaying the project beyond the deadline made by an unnamed NHIDCL official while demanding clarification in this regard from the GM or AGM of the corporation at the earliest.
On the other hand, conditions of the existing bridges are in deplorable state. Moreover, the approach roads on either sides of the bridges are also in their worst state and yet NHIDCL is doing nothing to repair the bridges and the road. With the recent closure of NH 2 in Nagaland, the NH 37 has been the lifeline of the state and its people. With Ningol Chakkouba just round the corner, importance of the highway has been increased lately. In such a situation, any malfunction on the two bridges would prove disastrous for the state, he cautioned, while demanding NHIDCL to repair the bridges before Ningol Chakkouba festival.
He also asked NHIDCL to surrender if they cannot repair the bridges in time while stating that TDC will take the responsibility of repairing them if they cannot. He also demanded NHIDCL to complete construction of the RCC bridges within the given deadline.

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