OFC cable work abetting highway degradation

STAFF REPORTER
IMPHAL, 19th Jul: Works for laying Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) of different telecom companies along the roadside contribute to the deterioration of NH 37, Imphal-Jiribam highway, which often faces incidents of landslides.
Even though the whole operation might have been taken up after getting necessary approval from the authority; digging up the roadsides and filling up the drains in the process during the rainy season has been an impediment in improving the condition of the highway, which is the main lifeline of the state.
According to a driver, who renders service along the highway, the highway became a good highway in the past couple of years. However, several telecom companies are laying OFC along the highway this year and this resulted in deterioration of condition of the highway, he said.
Apart from transportation of heavy machines for railway project, the OFC laying work is a major concern since improper covering of the dug up portions and not clearing the drains in the process are common in their works.
Proper and effective roadside drainage system is one of the most important factors for maintenance of the highway in the hilly terrains as the streams from the hills will flow along the drain instead of overflowing on the road. However, the OFC laying work diverted the course of the water with the drains being filled up and it resulted in rapid degradation of the highway, the driver explained. On the other hand, TDC president H Ranjit told The People’s Chronicle that after experiencing a better road condition for some years, condition of the highway has deteriorated gradually in the last one year. The stretch from Imphal to Nungba is better but the stretch beyond that is in deplorable state. Condition of the highway in Sibilong, Barak, Makru and Kaimai areas are getting riskier. It would have been better if the OFC laying work is taken up during dry season, he pointed out.
At the same time, the bridges at Irang, Makru and Barak are in no good shape, especially the Irang Bridge, whose timber decks are worn out and the stringers getting snapped often. The authority needs to pay attention to these issues and ensure safety and continuity of the road communication along the highway, he maintained.


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