SILCHAR, July 19: Santanu Thakur, divisiol commissioner of hills and Barak Valley, during his visit to Krishi Kendra at Akbarpur near Karimganj, expressed his shock and dismay to look at the deplorable condition of NH 6. He was at the Krishi Kendra to review the overall developmental works of the various state government departments. He took the opportunity to vent out his deep resentment at the way roads and highways in this valley are repaired and maintained by different agencies including NEC (Road Division).
Slamming the PWD (Road) and the officials, he said it was shameful that Silchar-Karimganj highway should be in such a shamble. Nowhere, the roads and highways are in such conditions. He failed to understand why in maintence, the agencies concerned adopt a cavalier approach. This pathetic condition is not only with NH 6, but almost with all the network of roads and highways across the valley.
During the last 4 days, there have been public rumblings and outcries against the roads and highways turning into death-traps with potholes and craters galore. The commuters and riders have nightmarish experiences. During monsoon, the deterioration is rapid and fast, raising question about the method and quality of work. Residents along the N N Dutta link road have been agitating for its improvement for more than three months. But, the PWD and the public representatives have been lukewarm in their response.
In fact, highways and roads are becoming hazardous, making the journey bumpy and commuters getting jerks and jolts. Negotiating the deep potholes amidst heavy rush of vehicles becomes risky. The fund-crunch is being cited as the cause for no work of repair or improvement. The 200 metre stretch of Silchar-Kalain road near Sibbari, Tarapur with deep potholes is enough to entrap the passing vehicles. Cracks are fast developing. Here NEC (Road Division) is the funding and executing agency.
When the aggrieved people of the area failed to meet executive engineer, S K Gupta, who was at Guwahati, and tried to engage his junior Abdul Noor, the latter refused to talk. Finding no way out, the people met M K Das, ADC, who assured them in his own way. Worst is also the condition of the stretch of NH 37 between Sriko Daily Bazar and the BRTF office. Residents complaint that the repair of this highway was taken over by tiol Highway Infrastructure Development only on March 31 last. They failed to find any officer to talk to and took to the street to protest.
Dilip Paul, MLA Silchar, who recently met Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi, at Dispur and drew his attention to the Rs.10 crore plan and estimate for the improvement of Silchar roads. The Chief Minister admitted the drying up of funds of state PWD and also the poor shape of roads across Barak Valley. His stereotype reply to MLA was when funds are available, work will be done.