Bogibeel Bridge and Infrastructure
The much-awaited Bogibeel Bridge is all set to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2018. We may recall that the construction works, which had been approved in 1996, began in 2002 after much hiccups. In the process of construction the project faced hindrances one after the other. If our memory serves us well, when Lalu Prased Yadav was the Railway Minister he was reluctant to release adequate funds earmarking a megre amount in the budget for the Bogibeel Bridge. After the people of Assam had agitated demanding that the project be declared as the National Assets, Dr. Manmohan Singh, the then Prime minister an MP from Assam, declared it as a ‘National-Property’. Still the successive railway ministers were reluctant to accept it and the stalemate continues for more years, resulting into escalation of the cost involved in the construction. With the coming of the BJP-led NDA at the Centre, things started taking a turn for the better. Hopefully, India’s longest rail-cum-road bridge would be opened as scheduled. Why the Congress party maintained such a lethargic and nonchalant attitude can best be explained by the likes of Tarun Gogoi, Ripun Borah, CP Joshi. These leaders are guarding up their loins to seek votes for the general election of 2019. The infrastructure of Dibrugarh, perhaps will not be able to bear the brunt of the convoy of cars, big or small to run across the bridge once it is opened. It is high time the ruling dispensation in the State undertook the job with the right earnest to avoid traffic snarls. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, presiding over the 67th plenary session of the North Eastern Council in Shillong, vociferously asked the leaders of the States to ensure completion of different projects in their respective States, saying that the States must utilize the existing funds and then only they can approach the Union Finance Ministry for additional funds. Our leaders should not take recourse to curtailing of funds. They should ensure strengthening of infrastructures and show their mettle to face the general election ahead.
The much-anticipated publishing of the final NRC has again hit a roadblock. Initially December 31, 2017 was fixed for publication of the foolproof NRC, but due to slow execution of the updating process it was extended till June 30, 2018. Till recently State NRC Coordinator Prateek Haleja confirmed via the media that work was on right track and final error-free NRC would be published on the appointed date. Just 15 to 20 days back, Mr. Haleja expressed his apprehension about meeting the deadline citing the first wave of flood in the State as the reason. Flood is not a new thing in Assam and Mr. Haleja and his team knew well in advance about the impending flood problem in the State. The error-free NRC is the only hope of the indigenous people of the State as their identity is currently at stake.
Now the publication date of the final NRC has been further extended and patience of the people is being tested again. Only Almighty and team Haleja know whether people of the State will able to see an error-free NRC. Till then we have to keep our fingers crossed.
An ardent request to Mr. Prateek Haleja is: “Please expedite the pace of the work.”
GNB Road, Guwahati.