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Action plan brings cheers to Angarjur residents

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

SILCHAR, Feb 25: Along with the users of roads and highways of this Barak Valley, there is enough reason for cheers to the people of Angarjur areas who have been the victims of constant erosion and breaches of embankments during high floods of Barak river. In the spate of swirling and swelling waters are lost their homes and property, not sparing the livestock. Sonowal Government has taken the initiative and directed the Water Resource department to repair all the breached embankments by March 31. The Angarjur embankment repair and strengthening has been included in the 70 additiol schemes for which Rs.141.998 crore has been approved.

In fact, the people of Angarjur under Rongpur GP, on the other side of Barak bridge and not far from this town, with a population of nearly 5,000, have been subjected to frequent lashing by the floods due to ever weakening of the embankment built of earth for years. Their prayers and memoranda for protection to the authorities concerned have fallen on deaf ears. They have to suffer in silence, often sitting for dhar before the offices of the Deputy Commissioner and Water Resource Department. The role of the then Congress MLA and Minister, Ajit Singh, has never been favourable to them.

 The onset of monsoon rings the bell of fear and apprehension in their minds of another flood and their resultant miseries. When their houses go under waters, they have to take shelter in the schools and other places of refuge. Apart from that, another cause of panic is the threat to their own homesteads which are being swallowed by the surging waters. In most of the areas, embankments have virtually sunk due to ever widening erosions. It has been alleged that the embankment constructed in 2008 collapsed within a year, raising questions about the method and quality of work. A total amount of Rs.13.83 lakh spent on it was washed away.

 Since then, the poor and margilized people of Angarjur, most of them daily wage earners, have been subjected to the vagaries of ture with no hope of any help and relief. The embankment was constructed from the point of Silchar PWD Road to Madhuramukh in three different phases. But due to the lopsided works being carried out, the embankment got breached that allowed the flood waters to penetrate and ultimately flood the areas in and around. Vast stretches of land were inundated.

 Serious allegations then raised were that the funds were misutilized and even misappropriated by the persons involved in its contract and construction. It was then very much in the air that a coterie of the ruling party Congress pulled the strings from behind and helped the contractor to prepare master roll and job cards against fictitious mes and completed the work of setting down earth on the embankment areas. It was this group that installed small pipes instead of culverts at the end of Angarjur street. Several rrow breaches came up at various spots which led to the flooding of Rongpur, Angarjur, Majhargram, Karatigram, Shimultala, Arkatipur, Gosiapur, Moirbond areas. In the event of floods, even the tiol Highway connecting the airport, Imphal and East-West Corridor get affected.

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Ankur Kalita