SILCHAR, Jan 22: Is ‘Vision-2020’ as unfolded by Sarbanda Sonowal, Union Minister for State of Sports and Youth Affairs (Independent Charge), while laying the foundation stone of the improvement of Rs.70 crore Silchar-Badarpur road on Thursday near ISBT Ramgar going to draw curtain on Congress domince in this Barak Valley?
This move of Sonowal is not only well timed but also an exercise to take into account the long pending demand of the people of the valley which he acknowledged before the assembly of people and media-persons on the occasion. At the initial stage, the road will be double lane from 6.25 to 10.40 km. He did not miss to remind that the development of northeast as a whole is upper most in the mind of the Prime Minister who wants to build up strongest and the best of infrastructure.
Keeping in mind the ensuing assembly elections, the Union Minister held out more promises to take up schemes and projects with particular thrust on inter valley connectivity which will eventually pave the way for industrialization. Better connectivity will also benefit the farmers who can take their agriculture products to the market and earn due profit. Not only that as he said, the sick Cachar Paper Mill will also be rejuveted. Sarbanda Sonowal quite in tune with the need of the time referred to the Silchar-Saurashtra Highway or East-West Corridor and assured the hurdle created by the state government would be over.
The woes of people of this valley, Tripura and Mizoram while travelling through landslide prone NH 6, earlier 44, are well known. Work would soon begin as Rs.241 crore has been allotted. In order to ensure that road connectivity is well constructed, the responsibility has been vested with tiol Highway Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited. The ‘Vision’ document, Sarbanda Sonowal revealed, speaks of the application of latest technology for the construction of roads and bridges as well as tunnels. For Barak Valley, a package of Rs.500 crore has been earmarked.
All the road connectivity with neighbouring states which are in a deplorable condition will get face-lift and become all weather. It is true the land locked people of Barak Valley have been clamouring for a long time for improvement of roads and highways. During rainy season, the situation becomes so critical that this valley along with the neighbouring states is virtually cut off from the rest of the country. The railway link is also spped due to landslides in the hills section. The only altertive left is air connectivity which common people can hardly be expected to afford.
If the ‘Vision’ document becomes really operatiol on the ground and there is no reason why it cannot, people will have the realization that during the Congress rule of long 68 years in Assam, nothing has been done for surface connectivity, industrialization as well as agricultural development. This is the reality. The ruling party ministers, MPs and MLAs elected from this valley have been the target of public criticism, but without any result. It will be no exaggeration to say the ‘Vision-2020’ as detailed by Sarbanda Sonowal will end the long spell of Congress misrule. But, it is ultimately the voters who will decide.