The Drivers Association Tamenglong on Friday raised allegations against Shivalaya Construction Company, which has been engaged in the construction of double lane Tamenglong-Khongsang road, Manipur of failing to work efficiently in the interest of the public.
Amid the road safety concern along the Tamenglong-Khongsang road, the Drivers Association Tamenglong president Gaikaopou Gonmei and secretary Caleb Bariam spoke to the Imphal Free Press, and said that the roads have been reduced to disastrous conditions due to the inefficient widening of the road. They also said that the mount of earth from cutting hillocks has not been cleared by the company till the filing of this report.
Due to the negligence of Shivalaya construction company, drivers carrying essential commodities are compelled to fast and sleep on the way, they said.
Trucks carrying essential commodities took four days to reach Tamenglong district headquarters from Khongsang village, the drivers said.
The worst portion of the road lies between Namkaolong and Khongsang village around 11 km and two km from Namkaolong towards Tamenglong.
Passengers have to get down and push-pull the vehicles through the slushy road.
Trucks carrying essential commodities have to pull and push from behind and sometimes, the vehicles get damaged and stranded due to the deplorable condition of the road, they said.
In view of difficult and unsafe road conditions, the drivers, carrying essential commodities for the district, have no other options, except to launch a cease work strike, they told the IFP.
If the authority concerned failed to make the road functional by June 17, the drivers Association Tamenglong said it will impose total bandh in the district from June 18.
The Drivers Association Tamenglong also pointed out that Shivalaya company did not properly clear the mud they left behind after cutting down hillock and moreover, landslides which occurred in many places made the road completely unsafe.
They further alleged that Shivalaya company seldom repairs and maintains potholes on the road. They said that at many locations, the blacktopping done by the company was found cracked and deteriorating.
They called upon the authority concerned to look into the matter and arrange measures to make sure the damage is repaired and vehicles can travel to and fro. The Drivers Association Tamenglong has decided to impose bandh and stop the Shivalaya construction from working from June 18 onwards, it stated.
It further mentioned that due to the pathetic condition of the road made worse by the incessant rainfall, the availability of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) and other fuel including petrol, diesel and kerosene has become irregular.
Meanwhile, essential commodities like potatoes, onion, rice, etc are running out of stock in Tamenglong district headquarters as the goods carrying vehicles could not reach the town and are left stuck in the slushy mud on the road.
It may be mentioned that the collapse of Irang bridge due to the heavy rainfall and poor quality construction has compounded the woes of people in Tamenglong. The bridge is yet to be repaired. It may be mentioned that the Imphal-Tamenglong road along Khongsang serves as a lifeline for the people living in the hill district. However, the collapse of the bridge has lept most people away from travelling. The district administration also advised people to avoid travelling through Khongsang road due to the poor road condition and frequent landslides caused by the heavy rainfall in the region.
Interestingly, none of the civil organisations has raised any voice to speed up the repairing work or to construct a new Reinforced Cement Concrete (RCC) bridge.