FROM A CORRESPONDENT
UDALGURI, May 5: The All Bodo Students’ Union (ABSU) has expressed serious concern over ignoring NH-15, earlier known as NH-52, from the proposed four-lane upgradation by the authorities concerned.
Expressing serious concern ABSU vice president Dipen Boro in a statement said that while the students’ union welcomed the Central Government’s initiative to further develop NH-37, NH-37(A), NH-52 and NH-52 (A), it nevertheless regretted the non-inclusion of NH-15 in the list of tiol highways which were to be upgraded into four-lane roads. It was only recently that Union Minister of Road and Water Transport, Nitin Gadkari laid the foundation stone of and said projects with great fanfare.
The release further stated that the former UPA Government had proposed upgrading of NH-15, i.e. from Baihata Chariali to Joi by linking Aruchal Pradesh.
“Six years ago, the UPA Government had taken initiative in this regard. But during the recent visit of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari to the North East, no such proposal was adopted, which has obviously hurt the sentiments of the people of this region as the surface communication network under reference happens to be the lifeline of the residents of the northern bank of the Brahmaputra, which has once again borne the brunt of willful neglect by the Centre even after 67 years of independence of the country,” added the press release.
It may be mentioned that NH-15 connecting Kamrup (Rural), Darrang, Udalguri, Sonitpur, Lakhimpur and Dhemaji districts is very important from the security point of view as it links Tawang, bordering Chi in the north and Pashighat, the gateway of Aruchal Pradesh to the far east.
“Unfortutely, the people residing in the aforementioned area will now be deprived from enjoying the manifold benefits of the four-laning process, and thus be deprived from speedy economic growth of the region,” the release pointed out.
The release also stated that even though the people of Darrang, Udalguri, Sonitpur and Lakhimpur districts have returned three BJP MPs, one of whom is a Union Minister, with fervent hopes that they would leave no stone unturned in order to help realise the concerned people’s collective dreams, but their dreams at present seem to be dashed to the ground, if the recent scheme of things is anything to go by.
The ABSU has appealed to the two BJP MPs and Union Minister Sarbanda Sonowal, besides Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi to impress upon the Union Inland Road and Water Transport Minister at the earliest and apprise him about the strategic importance of NH-15.
The ABSU sought allotment of adequate funds in the Budget for upgrading NH-15 along with the ongoing four-laning project. The students’ body also suggested creation of a pressure group comprising representatives of various social organisations, students and the business fraternity in order to raise their voice collectively for getting their demand fulfilled.