For as long as one can remember, every monsoon in Assam has been witness to the defeat of men at the hands of Nature as far as keeping our communication channels open is concerned. Our highways are always inundated and seriously damaged by the flood waters, our embankments are regularly breached and we are obliged to wring our hands in total helplessness at what the floods can do to our lives. There are many people in the State who have good reasons to believe that much of the damage that the floods do can be prevented, and that it is the unholy nexus of scheming contractors and greedy officers that has led to a quality of work totally unfit for the conditions we have that leads to the floods always getting the better of human resourcefulness. It is as though some people want the highways to be breached or damaged every year so that they have lucrative construction work every year instead of every five years. It is as though there are too many people who do not want safe highways during the monsoon so that the excuse for construction contracts every year can be sustained without any real opposition. There are too many people who are not averse to making profits out of human misery. We have reasons to be convinced that all constructions of highways and embankments can be done with upgraded specifications of construction so that they endure for at least five years and do not let down the people every year and compel many families to live on the highways after their homes have been destroyed by the floods. The need of the hour is more durable constructions and a pledge not to let greed for personal profit come in the way of the rights of other people to remain alive.
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February 14, 2019
Shreeprakash Sharma (The writer is a Principal of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Dinthar Veng, Mamit, District-Mamit (Mizoram). He can be reached at...