Army closes PWD road for public, locals express resentment
From a Correspondent
Tezpur, May 8: People of the greater Panchmile and Dekargaon area have expressed grave concern over the closure of a public road by the army authority in the area that has been maintained by the PWD department over the years to facilitate the surface communication for the commuters of the greater area.
The 3-km distance PWD road from Parwa Chariali to Solmara via Noorbari Tea estate has been used by the local people for years as people have to reach important places like the Mauzadar’s office, hospital, police station, NRC office, BDO office, BEEO office, Dekargaon train station and the Bindukri weekly market. But due to the closure of the road for the common public by the army, inconvenience has been caused. People alleged that besides harassment to the common public by the army, emergency services like 108 ambulance, fire brigade and even police vehicles are also not allowed to pass through this public road. They further alleged that the local people showed their utmost responsibility towards the tion and doted their miyadi patta lands to the Indian Army for setting up army cantonment during the 1962 Chinese aggression. “Despite such a sacrifice towards the tion, today in return we are facing harassment. In the me of tiol security, the army has already captured many of our public properties like Kali Mandir and public crematorium, which in a civilized society is not fair,” the people rued.
As per the norms, PWD department maintained roads can never be possessed by any autonomous agency since they are for the common people. During 2012 people of the area registered their protest against the army’s ‘arrogant attitude’ while to disperse the protesters, the army allegedly fired upon the people injuring several protesters. However, seeking an impartial judgment on the issue, people of the area have already moved the Gauhati High Court. In a verdict, the Gauhati High Court ordered the authority concerned, including the district administration and the Solmara army cantonment to open an altertive road for the use of the army, thereby allowing the common people to use the PWD road without any harassment. On the other hand, the people of the area urged Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju and Rajya Sabha MP Ripun Bora to 'deal with the issue placing it before the Central Government. Meanwhile, the Deputy Commissioner of Sonitpur, Laya Madduri has persolly ordered a probe into the matter.