Manipuri body welcomes revival of Silchar–Manipur Road

Silchar, April 2: 'Old Silchar–Manipur Road Revival Committee' (OSMRRC) has welcomed the move of the Centre and the Manipur Government to restore the more than century oldroute to Imphal. Rabindra Singha, general secretary of the Committee, said with the reopening of the road, now in a dilapidated condition, thedistance of the Manipur capital would be decreased, besides it would make the movement of vehicles, passenger and goods, easy and smooth, saving time. Moreover, it would also open a new vista of development. He added to say that for a long timetheir body had been fighting for the repair andimprovement of the abandoned road. He recalled how the people of Lakhipur had boycotted the Parliamentary elections of 2009 in order to create pressure on the government of Manipur and Assam.
It was a positive development that a bridge on the river Chiri, atributary of Barak, was coming up at Pollarband which would connect this side of the old road with that of the other side. He expressed his satisfaction at the fact that Manipur Government had been carrying on campaign with the Centre on the issue and finally NEC (North East Council) had sanctioned Rs. 147 crore for the revival of the road in question. In the first phase, the stretch from Bishnupur to Rapang would be taken up for improvement.
Since ancient past, Rabindra Singha said this road was the vital supply line for Manipur and it was undisturbed which enabled easy flow of goods and materials. Withthe construction of NH 2 (old 39) and NH 37 (old 53) by the British, the importance of Old Silchar–Manipur Road was ignored and without maintenance it turned into craters and potholes and the bridges and culverts were badly damaged. It was the route which was used by the Manipur Royal family, business men and pilgrims for their journey down and up Cachar. Bishnupur and Tamenlongdistricts could easily be accessed.
The revival of this centuryold road has become all the more essential because of the frequent blockades and bandhs on NH 2 by different Naga organizations. This badly affected normal life and led to escalation of prices of all essential commodities. The condition of NH 37 has also turned bad, affecting the movement of vehicles, passenger and goods. The last improvement that was carried on the old road was in 1968. Since then, ithad been lying deserted and neglected. (SentinelAssam)

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