FROM OUR Special Correspondent
Silchar, July 2: Here is a tale of cluster of villages under Udharbond police station and constituency who remain virtually isolated and cocooned for four months in the wake of the river Madhura, a tributary of Barak, overflowing or over flooded. The pathetic condition of villagers during the four months of their isolation can well be understood from what Rahul Barman, a resident of the area, revealed, “During this period, students have to sit idle at homes. Rations have to be stored. Necessary medicines are also kept in one’s stock.” Being a river origiting from the Borail hills of Dima Hasao district and rain fed, it usually takes a mecing shape.
The worst happens to the people of the villages of Chailtacherra, Madhupur Part I, Boroidisa, Doyadisa, Ratanpur and Khasia punjee having a population of nearly 4,000. There is no road or connectivity for these villages to come to the other side of the river for visiting Udharbond, the nearest semi urban area and also for making a trip to Silchar town. Pankaj Dhar, president of Madhura GP, told this scribe that even after submitting a number of petitions and memoranda to the then MLA and Minister of the area, Ajit Singh, there has been no response. Nor, anyone from the district administration has ever visited the areas and taken stock of the plight of villagers.
Apart from the problem of connectivity, there is no provision of drinking water, basic and minimum education facility, health service and electricity. If electricity is there, it is not for more than 5 days. It is more or less a rickety supply of power. People have to live in darkness after dusk. This has also been echoed by Sukesh Paul, Rahul Barman, Pabitra Barman, Moka Hmar and Mili Khasia, all residents of the area. All of them said in order to overcome the problem of connectivity and make movement possible, the villagers decided to build a bamboo bridge for themselves.
The bridge without any pillars is hanging one and that makes it risky for everyone while moving through it from either end. Rahul Barman said a dotion of Rs.1 lakh was collected from all the six villages for the construction of the bridge. It is through this bridge that daily wage earners, students, those on office works to Udharbond and Silchar as well as villagers in general take the risk in their own hands and cross to the other side. Around 400 students studying in schools and colleges have to move through this hanging bridge with a length of 200 feet.
When the swelling of the river subsides, its bed is riddled with stones, big and small, rolling down from the hills. This makes Madhura a mine of stones and a wealth for quarrying. The bridge starts from the Majhirtop, Madhupur Part-I, on the north of Borail. With the coming of Sarbanda Sonowal led government at Dispur, a new hope has been generated among these villagers for positive action from it. This is what Mili Khasia said, “We have suffered a lot. We got nothing from the Congress government. Our hope and expectation is from BJP led government. We are looking for better days ahead.”