By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Jan 16: A plan to upgrade Imphal-Mao section of Imphal-Dimapur highway (NH 39) which forms a portion of Asian Highway-I to the level of a four-lane highway has been drawn up.
The ongoing efforts of four-laning Dimapur-Kohi-ma section of NH 39 would be further extended to Mao-Imphal section. The Minis- try of Road Transport and Highways has already started sanctioning necessary fund for the highway expansion project, sources informed.
Ahead of the development works of Mao-Sena- pati and Senapati-Koubru Leikha sections which are now on the verge of completion, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways sanctioned Rs 37.4 crore in 2014-15 for construction of Koubru Lei- kha-Tendongyang section.
Work order for the particular project was allotted to M/S Raghava. Subsequently, M/S Raghava started the road construction work but after a little while, it kept the same work on hold for a prolonged period.
This compelled the Government to forfeit the bank guarantee amount deposited by M/S Raghava. As the Government investigated into the matter to complete the road construction work, the documents submitted by the firm were found to be forged ones.
Finally, the matter reached Court and the work order allotted to M/S Raghava was cancelled.
Later, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways took up a new initia- tive of constructing Mao-Imphal section as a four-lane highway in the form of multiple packages.
In the meantime, BIPL constructed Mao-Senapati and Senapati-Tendongyang sections to the level of two-lane highway and the same work is now almost complete.
As the tender process has been already completed for some packages regarding construction of Mao-Imphal section as a four-lane highway with the National Highway Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) as the implementing agency, the successful bidders/firms have started opening camps at the work sites, said the sources.
Even though the sources did not reveal the exact sanctioned amount for construction of Mao-Imphal section as four-lane highway, it is being speculated that the ministry might have sanctioned over Rs 400 crore.
A similar initiative for upgrading Imphal-Moreh road which too constitutes a section of Asian Highway I to the level of a four-lane highway has been already put into motion.
Wangjing-Pallel Lamkhai section has been already expanded to four-lanes with NHIDCL as the implementing agency. The highway expansion work is currently going on along Wangjing-Lilong Bridge section.
Earlier, work order for construction of the road from Manipur University main gate to Lilong Bridge was allotted to M/S Raghava in 2014-15.
As the road construction work was never completed, the Government forfeited the bank guarantee amount deposited by M/S Raghava but the documents submitted by the firm were found to be fakes.
The matter ultimately reached Court and the work order allotted to M/S Raghava was cancelled.
Subsequent upon the cancellation, the particular highway section has not be constructed/expanded till date.
Nonetheless, PWD has sent a proposal to construct MU Gate to Lilong section as a four-lane highway and the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is likely to approve the proposal, the sources added.