IMPHAL, Oct 12: Leisha Latpa (Bhoomi Puja) ritual was performed today for construction of Imphal-Jiribam highway’s Barak and Makru bridges with RCC.
Speaking at the occasion, Chief Minister N Biren stated that the previous (Central) Governments did not sanction a single rupee for construction of the two key bridges during the past 40/50 years.
New Barak and Makru bridges in RCC form would never have been constructed had there been no Central Government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Chief Minister N Biren and his Council of Ministers went by road to Barak village to attend the ceremony.
Barak Bridge would be constructed at the cost of Rs 59.05 crore and Makru bridge at Rs 43.68 crore. These amounts were sanctioned by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in 2013.
The two bridges would be constructed by Bhartia Infra Project Limited under the National Highway Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL).
On the way to Barak, the Chief Minister and his team were accorded warm receptions at Tupul, Noney, Awangkhul, Nungba, Khongsang and Kambiron.
“When I was the Editor of the Naharolgi Thoudang vernacular daily, I wrote in one of the editorials to start construction of Imphal-Jiribam highway with an offer of Rs 10,000 from my side if there was no authority to construct the highway”, Biren recalled.
On the next morning, many people came to the Keishampat residence of Dr Biren (ostensibly mistaking the doctor to be the Editor of Naharolgi Thoudang, N Biren) offering money and machinery for construction of Imphal-Jiribam highway.
“Soon after mid term election was held. I sold off my newspaper firm at Rs two lakh and contested the election. That was about 17 years back”, Biren said.
He remarked that it was God’s blessing that the he is able to participate in the Leisha Latpa ceremony for construction of new Barak and Makru bridges as a Chief Minister of the State.
Barak, Makru and Irang are the three key bridges of Imphal-Jiribam highway. Preparation of DPR for construction of a new Irang bridge would be completed within six months.
Once these three bridges are constructed anew, vehicular traffic along Imphal-Jiribam highway would be as good as Delhi-Agra or Delhi-Rajasthan highways, Biren claimed.
Hill people and plain people share an inseparable fraternal bond and they can never part ways and the incumbent Government’s foremost responsibility is restoration of communal harmony.
Manipur can never be developed unless there is equality between the hills and the valley.
The Government has already launched schemes for medical assistance and free LPG connections for widows.
Moreover, BPL families have been given the facility of undergoing 57 different types of medical tests free of cost, Biren asserted.
The Government would soon implement a scheme under which disabled persons who cannot do physical work would be given monthly pension of Rs 1500 together with a health insurance scheme by which monetary assistance of Rs 2 lakh would be given to BPL families for medical treatment, Biren reiterated. Recalling about Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari’s announcement of a package of Rs 25,000 crore for development of National Highways in the State, the Chief Minister informed that the Ministry recently gave its consent to sanction Rs 46 crore for upgrading Tousem-Kaiphundai road to the status of a National Highway.
Appealing to all the local people to cooperate with labourers engaged in the highway/bridge construction works, Biren asked all the people to inform the Government if they have any complaints or grievances.
Capitalising on the Chief Minister’s visit, many people/organisations submitted a number of memoranda. In response, Biren assured that all the demands raised through the memoranda would fulfilled if they are pragmatic and within the Government’s capacity.
The Chief Minister’s entourage included Deputy Chief Minister Y Joykumar, Agriculture Minister V Hangkhanlian, Forest and Environment Minister Th Shyamkumar, YAS Minister Letpao Haokip, Parliamentary Secretaries, MLAs and top ranking civil and police officials.