Where there is a will, there is a way. This is the approach of villagers residing along the Maram-Khoide-Purul road in Manipur. They have started repairing the nearly 19 kms long road stretch by pooling in fund and manpower.
Perseverance of Manipur villagers
Located in Senapati district, the Maram-Purul road is a State highway. It is also an important lifeline for nearly 60 villages. It is represented by Naga Peoples Front MLA Alexander Pao, who ‘resigned’ last year. Residents of the villages under the aegis of Purul Union and Khoide Union have started road improvement work ten days back. About 2000 men and women of Senapati district have volunteered to repair the road.
The stretch is dotted with hazardous potholes, while the black topping has decayed. Mudslide during rainy seasons has been one main cause for accidents. Many fatalities have occurred in the past. Availing of medical attention has also become an arduous task because of the worsening condition.
Secretary of Khoide Union, H Phillip said, ‘We have submitted numerous petitions to concerned authorities. However, the road has been left to decay for the past 7 years. Finally we decided to generate fund from villagers to repair it all by ourselves. We no longer believe the State government or any authority will come to help us.’
Villagers complained that the designated SDC never comes to his office located at Purul. It was also pointed out that the local MLA, Alexander Pao has not once come to look into the work done by the villagers.
The villagers use the money for hiring an earthmover and a truck for lifting rocks and transport them. The food and tools are brought by the villagers. No money is paid to labourers. A woman worker Louniru, holding a spade in hand quipped, ‘God help those who help themselves. We are united in our work and we will pave the road.’