TDC decries sluggish bridge construction works

By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Sep 28: Urging the National Highway Infra-structure and Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL)  to refrain from playing delaying tactics when it comes to construction of Makru and Barak bridges along Imphal-Jiribam high-way, the Transporters and Drivers Council (TDC) has cautioned that NHIDCL will be held responsible if any-thing happens to any of the vehicles or trucks plying along the highway due to the negligence of the firm.
Speaking to media persons at TDC office at MG Avenue today, its president H Ranjit conveyed that in the past, NHIDCL had announced that it would com- plete the Barak bridge (around 145 kms away from Imphal) and Makru bridge (189 km from Imphal) by April, 2020.
However, not  even 40 percent of the works have been completed till now, he alleged, adding that even though the feet of the brid-ges have been erected, no other works have been carried out by the NHIDCL in cahoots with the concerned contractors by citing various excuses like law and order situation and others.
TDC sent a letter regarding this issue to the Prime Minister on September 23 and a similar letter was sent to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways on September 26, he added.
Claiming that most of the officials of NHIDCL are those who had previously worked in the BRO, Ranjit said that earlier it was thought that the lifeline of the State would be improved if NHIDCL was tasked with the construction work but now all those beliefs have been shattered.
It has been 3/4 years since NHIDCL has been handling the job of repairing the National Highway. It seems the firm is working with a hidden agenda to stop the trucks and vehicles from travelling along this road, he alleged.
Ranjit informed that the two bridges which are being construction should be able to withstand 40 tonnes of weight and claimed that however while handing over the works to NHIDCL, BRO mentioned that the weight capacity is to be only 24 tonnes and accordingly NHIDCL sent a memo to the Transport Department regarding the same.
So if some trucks carrying large vlume of goods are to be stopped, then all vehicles will stop plying along the road, he threatened.
Ranjit explained that instead of constructing the bridges quickly and doing its job, NHIDCL is dictating the vehicles to carry only a certain weight.
If so, how will the trucks recover its expenditure on fuel, he asked and demanded NHIDCL to stop playing delaying tactics and instead finish the construction works at the earliest.
If not, it will have to bear responsibilities for any untoward incidents which might affect drivers and transporters along the road, he warned.