By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, May 14: The Transporters and Drivers Council (TDC) has asserted that engagement of limited number of labourers, not law and order situation, has been delaying construction works of Barak and Makru bridges along Imphal-Jiribam highway.
Speaking to media persons at their MG Avenue office today, TDC president H Ranjit dismissed NHIDCL’s claim that the bridge construction works have been delayed due to volatile law and order situation as illogical.
He alleged that NHIDCL has started resorting to BRO’s old tactics of blaming law and order situation for their own inefficiency.
Saying that NHIDCL cannot blame law and order situation and the State Government for the delay in bridge construction works, Ranjit claimed that TDC has concrete examples of the projects' lack of progress.
One cannot just claim that the construction works have been going on without interruption while limited number of labourers are engaged in the same works.
TDC has already submitted a written appeal to the Chief Minister to ensure that the bridge construction works are expedited in the interest of the people of Manipur and there is no reason for NHIDCL to be furious about the TDC’s appeal, Ranjit said.
Unlike a few years back, where convoys of trucks were escorted by security personnel along Imphal-Jiribam as the law and order situation then was quite volatile, all types of vehicles including trucks now move on the same highway without any security escorts because there is no law and order problem now, he pointed out.
NHIDCL’s attempt to excuse themselves for the lack of progress in the name of law and order problem and monetary demands is simply unacceptable for they have already received huge amounts from the Government of India to construct the two key bridges, Ranjit continued.
It is simply impossible for any Government to provide security for each and every infrastructure project, he asserted.
Asking NHIDCL not to resort to BRO’s tactics of blaming law and order situation for their inefficiency, the TDC president said that they would upload progress of the bridge construction works every single day in social media.
Even though the runner of Makru bridge has been displaced, no repairing has been done so far. Likewise, the wooden planks of Barak bridge are in shambles. Instead of using high quality timber, timbers of very low quality were used to cover the surface of the bridge, he decried.
Rejecting the allegations that transporters have been transporting any type of goods they fancy along Imphal-Jiribam highway apart from overloading their trucks, Ranjit contended that transporters have been transporting goods which are permitted by the Central Motor Vehicles Act.
Saying that the existing bridges of the highway have capacity of 40 tonnes, Ranjit said that one cannot say a truck is overloaded just because its total weight exceeds 24 tonnes.
BRO imposed the tonnage limit of 24 tonnes in cahoot with the companies which constructed bridges so as to reduce expenditure on maintenance of the highway as well as bridges. By imposing the tonnage limit, BRO was blaming transporters for carrying extra loads.
Questioning the logic of keeping the Central Motor Vehicles away from the State, the TDC president alleged that NHIDCL and BIPL have been conspiring to earn extra profits at the cost of the people of Manipur.
Transporters may carry only 24 tonnes but they should be paid the transport charge of their full transport capacity. In such a scenario, people would defini- tely complain against rising prices of goods, he asserted and asked if Transport Department, NHIDCL and BIPL would take responsibility for the people’s complaints. Asserting that transporters have no intention to carry extra loads, Ranjit appealed to all concerned to expedite bridge the construction works.