NH-31 construction work remains incomplete even after a decade

A Correspondent

PATHSALA, July 14: The incomplete state of NH expansion work, especially in the Bajali subdivision of Barpeta district, has caused a lot of inconvenience for the people. Due to the poor road condition in the area, frequent road accidents take place.

Construction work of the road in the Bajali sub-divisional area was given to KMC Construction Ltd. The length of the road was 27.3 km. More than a decade has already elapsed but there is no sign of completion of the construction work. Following a high-level meeting convened by the Barpeta district administration last year, the exasperated local people as well as representatives of various organizations of Bajali subdivision, decided to refrain from taking up any agitation programmes demanding completion of the construction work of NH-31.The meeting was attended by AASU leader Samudra Patgiri, Giridhar Choudhurry, president of Bazar Committee, Pathsala, Himangshu Roy, chairman of Pathsala Town Committee, Ratul Roy of AGP, the then SDO(C) of Bajali, Prerna Sarma, A Natarajan, the then SDPO of Bajali, RTI worker Pankaj Sarma, various media persons, KMC officials, NHAI representatives, Pulak Patgiri, ADC of Barpeta, and Joydev Mahanta, the then Circle Officer of Bajali.

Another meeting was also held at Pathsala before this district-level meeting. Socially conscious section of people and representatives of Bajali Mahkuma AASU unit, Pathsala Bazar Committee, subdivisional administration authority and local organizations had taken part in that meeting. Here KMC Construction Ltd. tendered a written apology and promised to complete the pending work within December and to construct a bridge at Patacharkuchi before March, 2018. The district administration made it clear that if the company failed this time too, then legal action would be taken against the company.

Construction of bridge over River Kaldia is still in the initial stage of construction. The over bridge at Dennatari is still not completed. As a result, there is heavy traffic jam in the national highway. Vehicles remain stranded for hours. The construction company assured to complete the work many times but all in vain. The portion of the NH-31 road starting in Kaljar of Barpeta district and ending in Bezuchi has not been completed by the construction company. The road in Patacharkuchi market area is dangerous as there are no proper directions for vehicles and at night most drivers get confused.

In Patacharkuchi, the construction company did not pay any attention for upgrading the service roads. The underground passages have not been constructed properly for which people have to cross the road with a lot of risk. Moreover, the side drains constructed by the company on both sides of the main road are also lying incomplete.

Strong resentment prevails among the socially conscious section of people and organizations of Bajali subdivision following poor quality work and incomplete construction of the four-lane expansion project on NH-31 between Kaljhar and Bezkuchi in Barpeta district. The people have been suffering a lot since long due to dismal condition of the national highway. Though KMC Construction Ltd. was engaged for construction of the 27.3 km stretch from Kaljhar to Bezkuchi in 2005, it is alleged that the company has inadequate infrastructure and manpower, besides lack of resolve. Hence it has failed to complete the construction work.

Due to poor condition of the road, frequent accidents have till date claimed a number of lives. Various local organizations had in the meantime undertaken agitation programmes like road blockade and submitted memoranda to various authorities, though to no avail.