Pressing the Govt and concerned authority to maintain Status Quo of the original road alignment with respect to the National Highway Authority of India over the Trans Asian Highway-1 expansion, villagers from Tumuyon Khullen to Tumnoupokpi organised sit in protest at Tumuyon Khullen against the diversion of said road without the knowledge of the people.
Calling as a long cherished dream of the people to come true of the highway connection between 32 countries which also traverse through the area, a press release from the JAC formed against the diversion stated that the people of the area also had this great euphoric sense of witnessing the materialisation of the Trans Asian Highway in their area. However, due to vested interest of some individuals/organizations, the originally proposed Trans Asian Highway stretch for the four lanes has been manipulated in Kangpokpi district, the release stated.
The originally proposed highway is stated to have a diversion route about 2 kms East from NH-2 which connects at the heart of Daili Village. However, to their amazement, the recent Google map shows the diversion being made at Kalapahar towards the western side by about 7.5 km stretch which was totally against the wishes of the people, the JAC mentioned. Therefore, with great sense of humility, the JAC formed against road diversion comprising of all the villages dwelling along the Trans Asian Highway route starting from Tumuyon Khullen village till Tumnoupokpi strongly opposed the recent redrawn map of the highway connection.
Mention may be made that Chairmen of all villages of the area had earlier submitted a petition to M.P. (Lok Sabha), Chief Minister of Manipur, MLA, 51-Saitu A/C, Managing Director, NHIDCL, Executive Director, NHIDCL and DC, kangpokpi stating to maintain Status Quo of the original road alignment with respect to the National Highway Authority of India over the Trans Asian Highway-1 expansion. The petition had mentioned that such diversion without the concern of the people was done at the behest of some individuals/organizations with vested interest and could likely to disturb the communal harmony for people living in the area and had expressed their resentment against such unjustified diversion as it could do more harm than good. They stated that people of the area mainly depends on the road network which provide the arterial network that facilitates trade, transport, social integration and economic development. There was stated to have no objection for the proposed extension in the area to pass through their villages which would be more suitable from all sides of the area adding they strongly reiterate and demand to maintain and retain the original alignment of the existing Trans Asian Highway without any alteration of the same. Banners written with “We strongly oppose 7.5 km diversion of the Trans Asian Highway to Western side (From 277+400 to 270+100), Maintain Status Quo on original, We cooperate & endorsed original survey of Trans Asian Highway, Eastern side from Tumuyon Khullen 272+500 to Tumnoupokpi,” and placards written as “We endorse original survey by NHAI, We strongly object diversion, Maintain Status Quo and We support original bypass from Daili village to T/Khullen” were held during the protest.
Briefing the media persons, the JAC Convenor stated that the original Survey route has about only 2 kms stretch while the newly proposed route is elongated by around 7.5 kms. Reliable source also mentioned that there would be long bridge in the midst to cost for some 90 crores opposing the newly redrawn map for the said extension. Such diversion was made without the knowledge of the people of the area adding villagers from Tumuyon Khullen to Tumnoupokpi villages strongly oppose to such move. No objection from the area was also reportedly submitted to DC, Kangpokpi in the past. People of the area had reportedly assisted the revenue department in square feet measurement. The Daili village had earlier requested for realignment just for few meters that would eradicate church and a school in the midst of the village but not objection. There was propaganda to have objected by the Daili village but was just a request which was submitted to the DC, Kangpokpi. This statement was given in the presence of Chairman, Daili village with no objection.
Failing to comply with the interest of the people before February 5, 2021 as deadline to the Govt of Manipur and the concerned authority, various forms of democratic agitations is reported to be staged and the sole responsibilities to be borne by the Govt of Manipur, the JAC Convenor added.