STAFF REPORTER IMPHAL, 5th Nov: Though the state would be organising its biggest tourism event Manipur Sangai Festival along with a NE development summit and other attractive events, the condition of NH 150 (Tiddim road), which connects Imphal city with Imphal airport and Loktak Lake, is still full of pot holes making a smooth ride along the road still a far cry.
The state government is gearing up for the Festival, including various events in and around Loktak Lake, which houses Keibul Lamjao, the home of Sangai. Good road connectivity is crucial for successful conduct of the festival as tourists from other parts of the country and abroad would need smooth ride to reach various festival venues.
However, roads connecting the capital city with important tourist spots of the state are in deplorable state. Most importantly the road leading to Keibul Lamjao has thousands of potholes that are sure to give a harrowing experience to the visiting tourists.
Despite having some potholes in the middle of the road, the stretch from Imphal Airport to Imphal City is more or less the best part of the NH 150. But starting from Malom, the whole stretch upto Moirang is in pathetic condition. Even though the government has started mending these potholes in Bishnupur and Ningthoukhong areas, it is still a matter of concern whether the government would be able to complete the task in time or not.
Besides the numerous potholes, incomplete constructions of culvert at different places and sunken portions of roads are all set to give the visitors anything but a smooth ride.
On the other hand, incomplete road expansion project from Sangaiprou to Malom is not only going to stand out like a sore thumb in the beautification process of the road from Airport to Imphal city, but is also likely to become cause for unsafe travelling.
Interestingly, residents in Malom area are using the incomplete road expansion site for cultivation of paddy plants near rail-fed oil depot at Malom. Though the paddy plants may not be a problem in providing a smooth ride to the tourists, the situation itself is the testimony of the long hiatus in the road expansion work.
However, a PWD official told The People’s Chronicle that the road expansion work has nothing to do with the Sangai Festival. It is a pilot project for expansion of the highway and the expansion will be taken up to Torbung in Churachandpur district.