Strategic Katigorah-Haritikar road develops cracks

Special Correspondent
Silchar, April 20: The strategic Katigorah-Haritikar road that connects the cluster of villages and border outposts of BSF along Indo-Bangladesh border has come under serious threat of erosion caused by the sloughing river Barak. The road, in fact, connects the interior villages with Silchar-Shillong-Guwahati-NH 6 and that brings out its importance in connectivity. It is a well laid down metalled road by PWD (Road) which is being used by hundreds of villagers, farmers and businessmen as well as the border security men.
The sinking of the road first came into public glare at the Haritikar ferryghat along river Barak four days ago. Local resident Abdul Hamid said he first saw the crack and could not imagine that it had been widening at the entry point of the road. By Thursday, the crack took a menacing shape and five shops went down through the gaping holes along the road. Ten more shops and a score of houses are now exposed to the ever widening cracks. Nearly 50 metre stretch of the road has been badly affected and the apprehension is that more portions of the vital link might face erosion.
The unusual phenomenon in Katigorah revenue circle of Cachar is being attributed to the underground corrosive seepages by the river Barak. According to a rough account, innumerable houses and paddy lands as well as interior roads across Barak Valley have been swallowed up by the turbulent waters of the river. Some villages have been buried under the surging and swirling waters of the river, regarded as being the most sloughing one in the world. Amar Chand Jain, MLA of Katigorah, as well as men from PWD visited the eroded part of the road to understand the enormity of the situation. He however assured the people of the areas that steps would be taken by PWD for repairing the badly damaged portion of the road. Deputy Commissioner of Cachar S Lakshmanan along with engineers and officials of PWD and Water Resources Department, visited the sinking site this noon and studied the situation for initiating measures by the departments concerned to check further erosion.
According to the information from the area, the unpredictable nature of river Barak has caused deep anxiety among the residents living along the road and the border areas. Considering the erosion and sinking of Katigorah-Haritikar road, people have been alerted not to use it. Instead, the embankment cum road along the river is now been used by people and is open to light vehicular traffic. But the movement of heavy vehicles of security forces manning the border has been stopped. At some point, there has been sliding down of the road by as deep as seven feet. It is also apprehended that the embankment cum road might also be affected by the continuing erosion of the river. In the meantime, circle officer of Katigorah has also visited the site and taken stock of the situation.