From our Correspondent
MANGALDAI, June 28: Government apathy has made the residents of a remote Assam village angry. Protesting over the delay in bridge construction across the Saktola river, the people of Kalaigaon, including students, came out in large number on Thursday to express their frustration in a violent way.
At a time when the people of Kalaigaon are facing flood problems, the students of the locality have refused to tolerate their failure to appear in the ongoing half yearly examination due to non-availability of communications as the temporary bridge in the village went under floodwaters.
Enraged people joined the students and pushed two cars carrying Harekrishna Sarma, Assistant Engineer, PWD (Roads) and Tilak Sarma, Junior Engineer, PWD (Roads), into water after pulling out both the officials from their cars. The students allege that due to delay in construction of the proposed bridge, the people of the locality have been suffering for long.
The Rs 6.1 crore proposed bridge is supposed to be constructed across the Saktola river at Rantholi under the Kalaigaon police station, 23 km from Mangaldai town.
Pradip Das, a Class 1 contractor, was allotted the bridge construction work in 2008, but he handed over the construction work to three others namely Babul Daimary, Paritosh Modak and Tapan Deka. But all of them failed to complete the bridge construction work within the stipulated time. “I always tried to complete the bridge construction work within the timeframe, but the contractors turned a deaf ear, resulting in the unexpected delay,” said Harekrishna Sarma.
“We always face problems while crossing the river as the substitute bridge is almost 10 feet below the proposed bridge, but we could not tolerate when we have found our children sitting at home instead of appearing in the ongoing half-yearly examination,” said Mafijur Rahman, a teacher of the locality.
Meanwhile, the police rushed to the spot and saved both the engineers from the angry villagers.