Over 60 maxi cabs halt operations leaving many villages along Indo-Bangladesh border in south-western Mizoram in the lurch
Aizawl: Over 60 maxi cabs have halted operations between Lunglei and Tlabung, along with several villages, for five consecutive days now due to the hazardous condition of the under-construction National Highway 302.
The slow progress of the highway’s construction, at a mere 17% since late 2021, has led to safety concerns among the cab owners, resulting in an indefinite suspension from July 24 onwards. The suspension has left many commuters in the western belt of Lunglei district, Mizoram, without a reliable mode of transportation, prompting urgent calls for road repairs and action from the authorities.
Sources from Tlabung said that the physical progress of the construction of NH-302 has been severely lacking, with only 17% completion, while other NHIDCL projects across Mizoram have witnessed progress ranging from 70% to 90%.
The owners of maxi cab welfare, fearing road mishaps, have taken a firm stand and decided to stay off the road indefinitely, leading to more than 60 maxi cabs suspending their services across several villages in the Lunglei district.
A recent meeting led by Lunglei Deputy Commissioner Ramdinliani, attended by officials from NHIDCL and BRN Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd., resulted in resolutions to carry out emergency road repair work on critical stretches of the highway. The closure of National Highway 302 for repair work was also discussed during the meeting.
Tlabung town alone has more than 30 maxi cabs delivering transport services. The Lunglei Thlang Joint Maxi Cab Services association has already embraced all the remaining maxi cabs operating outside Tlabung town, contributing to a total of 60 maxi cabs discontinuing their services.
The suspension of maxi cab services has badly impacted the villagers who heavily rely on this mode of transportation for their daily commutes and essential needs.
In an effort to raise awareness about the road-related issues, the Tlabung Village Council and Tlabung Welfare Committee: Aizawl organised a peaceful sit-in protest in front of the NHIDCL’s Regional Office in Aizawl on July 19, 2023.
During the protest, a memorandum of understanding was compellingly signed between SRK Construction and Projects Pvt. Ltd. and BRN Infrastructures Pvt. Ltd., aiming to hand over the remaining works to the latter on a priority basis.