STAFF REPORTER IMPHAL, 29th Oct: With the dual objectives to check the trend of private parties from misusing public properties and remove all obstacles from important routes, including state and national highways, the public works department (PWD) has launched a special drive to keep the roads spotless from Sunday.
On the first day of the eviction-cum-sanitisation campaign, which also aims at keeping the roads around the capital city in tip-top condition, PWD personnel under the supervision of National Highway (Division No-III) executive engineer NM Singh carried out the drive from Wahengbam Leikai Jiri parking till Oriental College, Tera Khuraijam Leikai in Imphal West district.
Unlike eviction drives in the past, the campaign on Sunday did not encounter any serious resistance from the public thereby limiting an excavator that the PWD brought for utilisation in the ploughing and collection of waste materials dumped on the road side.
While many shop runners could be seen removing temporary structures extended towards the footpath as the drive team proceeded along the route, PWD officials advised some individuals to voluntarily dismantle concrete or permanent structures sprouting beyond their patta land by the time of the next drive.
Labourers could also be spotted engaged in carrying away construction materials stocked on the roadside and footpath while shop owners hastily collected the trade items put on display at the pavement and side berm of the road inside their respective shops.
Speaking to newspersons on the side-lines of the drive, NM Singh informed that the drive was preceded by an official notification issued by the PWD on October 9 that asked all concerned to remove all construction materials or condemned vehicles from the road side within a week.
Noting with regret that some individuals have the least concern for the convenience of pedestrians or motorists and continue to keep construction materials or station condemned vehicles, he pointed out that such unwarranted activities that create unnecessary congestion of the roads often result in fatal accidents.
Further stating that casual utilisation of roadsides and footpath are hindrances to the government objective for portraying the capital city in a palatable manner, the executive engineer affirmed that the drive will not cease with the end of the calendar event to promote tourism but will continue till the whole road width is maintained in the right earnest.
While seeking cooperation of the public in the government’s endeavour to ensure smooth movement of vehicles in connection with the Manipur Sangai festival, NM Singh also cautioned that in case people continue to defy the instruction for removing all obstacles from the roadsides and footpath then the intervention of the home department will be indispensible to achieve the goal for facilitating better transportation of the visiting delegates.
The roadside sanitation campaign will cover Minuthong-New Checkon road and along Tiddim line, he added.