More cracks surface on Katigorah-Haritikar road

Special Correspondent

Silchar, April 23: The problem of erosion and the resultant cracks or caving in of Katigorah-Haritikar road seems to assume a more acute turn. Despite the combined efforts of the PWD (R) and water resources department to contain the cracks on war footing, the erosion continues. This has posed a serious challenge before the district administration of Cachar. It was on the directive of the Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal that S Lakshmanan, IAS, Deputy Commissioner of Cachar, lost no time to visit the affected area to have an on the spot assessment of the situation. After preliminary survey, PWD (R) took up repair works with sand and gravels to fill up the cracks.
But, the problem from all account appears to be something deeper and could well be accounted for by geologists. It is for the fourth time since the cracks on the road first appeared that the caving in of the vital link has continued. According to Babla Deb, Rajesh Ghosh and Imam Uddin, local residents, in addition to the 200 metres of road affected at the initial stage, the erosion has taken in its grip 500 metres of the vital link. This has brought to a halt all sorts of public and vehicular traffic movement. Notwithstanding the serious nature of the cracks, necessary repair works by PWD with the engagement of workers under the supervision of contractor have been going on and the Deputy Commissioner has said funds will be no constraint.
Local residents like Suman Deb and Miraz Ahmed complain about the haphazard manner in which the raising of embankment along the river bank was taken up a few years ago of Congress regime by the water resources department. The gravelling of the road was done without giving much attention to the base works of the embankment which has been exposed to the fury of turbulent Barak river during monsoon. Looking at the phenomenon, it is difficult to say when the road will be totally repaired and thrown to thorough traffic. The erosion played havoc with one of the high tension line towers also, disrupting the powers supply in the wide areas.
ASEB authority has assured of restoration of the power supply by putting the high tension tower in its place without much delay. A dredger in the meantime has been put in operation to dig up the sands from the river bed and fill up the wide gaps along the embankment. As the Katigorah-Haritikar road is closed for public and traffic movement, Inland Water Transport has arranged motor boat and ferry services to link Rajatilla-Haritikar and the isolated villages for the convenience of the public. The ferry service will also link Malua under Badarpur police station.
Shekhar Dey, officer on special duty of Chief Minister, has also visited the area and discussed both the preventive and preemptive measures with water resources department, public works department and ASEB. The help of BSF has also been sought to overcome the crisis. Baharul Islam, executive engineer, water resources department, said use of geo bags and crash dumping has been taken up to check erosion. Porcupine arrangement along the embankment will also be taken up after discussing the matter with additional chief engineer. Shekhar Dey, who is monitoring the restoration work, said if further erosion does not happen bypass through road cum embankment can be thrown open to public and light vehicles soon. PWD is working tirelessly to put blocks on the bypass.