ISTT under scanner for poor infrastructure

Overflowing drain at ISTT

Staff Reporter
LEKHI, Jun 5: The newly constructed interstate truck terminal (ISTT) here has come under the scanner for poor work quality.
The terminal, constructed by the urban development (UD) department, was handed over to the transport department last month. Currently, trucks coming from various parts of the country to the capital complex are parked at the ISTT.
ADM Talo Potom along with highway traffic wardens and members of the Public Premises Protection Force (PPPF) is monitoring the ISTT to ensure that the truckers strictly follow the standard operating procedure (SOP).
However, the poor infrastructure is posing problems for everyone.
“There is no proper drinking water supply. The UD department has constructed a well and from it water is supplied to an overhead tank. But the quality of water is so poor. Forget about drinking, one gets unwell while using it even for toilet purposes,” said a trucker at the ISTT.
He claimed that due to poor water supply, they are forced to order packaged water from outside.
The highway traffic wardens and the PPPF members monitoring the ISTT also said that some of the toilets do not have proper water connection.
“The windows of some of the buildings have been broken. There is no proper gate, and people try to enter the area. The jungle in the area has not been properly cleared and in the last one month only one sanitization drive was carried out by the IMC,” claimed a traffic warden.
He further said that people working at the ISTT are scared for their lives.
“Trucks from across the country, including from the red zones, are parked here. We are working to protect the people of the state, but the facilities here are very poor,” he said.
Speaking about the reason for allowing trucks to park at the ISST, he said, “Truck owners who cannot arrange labourers on time to unload the items parked their trucks here. This has been done in order to prevent truckers from parking on the roadside as it can lead to the spread of the virus. As soon as labourers are arranged the trucks leave the capital region after unloading the items at their respective destinations.”
The people living near the ISTT have raised concern over the poor drainage system and the lack of a proper boundary wall.
“The drains have no outlets. If there is heavy rainfall the whole area will be flooded and it will pose a threat to the people living near the ISTT,” said one of the residents.
He also said that the boundary wall has not been properly constructed.
“As the water quality is very poor, a few days ago some truckers came to my home to ask for drinking water. This is a serious breach of the SOP. There is no proper boundary wall and therefore truckers manage to come to my house,” he said.
Meanwhile, Transport Minister Nakap Nalo acknowledged the issues concerning the ISTT, and stated that the department would fix it in the future.
“I myself had visited the ISTT while it was in the final stage and had expressed concern over some issues like lack of a gate, poor window grills and boundary wall. The finance department has assured to provide funds for all these works after July,” he said.
The minister termed the ISTT a very important asset of the state.
“We will improve the ISTT and it will be a continuous process. In future we will develop it with all the modern facilities. Please give us some time. The Covid-19 pandemic has affected the planning for now,” he said.