Assam: Hole Dug for Jal Jeevan Mission Claims Life in Dibrugarh
Residents in Dibrugarh blame authorities for leaving dangerous unfilled holes in the city after project completion.
Dibrugarh: Within a span of 24 hours, two fatalities in Assam have drawn attention to the increasing danger posed by unfilled potholes dug up for the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) and similar road excavation projects.
Local reports suggest that a significant number of recently constructed roads in Assam have suffered damage as a consequence of the JJM work. Although the holes were initially dug to facilitate water pipe installation, the responsible authorities neglected to adequately fill them once the project was completed.
On Thursday night, tragedy struck when Abdul Rahim (37) from Loharpatty, Dibrugarh, met with a fatal accident after his two-wheeler plunged into a pothole along NH-37 near Grahambazar. Despite immediate medical attention, Rahim was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.
Local residents are accusing the authorities of leaving numerous unfilled holes throughout Dibrugarh city following the completion of the project, creating a hazardous situation. Several accidents have occurred recently in Dibrugarh due to these treacherous potholes. Furthermore, the negligence of the concerned department has resulted in extensive damage to recently constructed roads in the area.
Raju Roy, a resident of Dibrugarh, expressed his concern, stating that "The holes dug for the Jal Jeevan Mission have become death traps for people. Most of the roads constructed in recent times have been damaged due to this project. The concerned department abandoned their work halfway after inserting the JJM water pipes into the holes."
Dibrugarh MLA Prasanta Phukan reluctantly acknowledged that a staggering total of 5,320 holes were excavated on Dibrugarh's roads for the AMRUT project. He expressed dissatisfaction with the situation but stressed that halting the project was not feasible as it is a flagship program of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In an effort to address the issue, Phukan assured prompt action and promised that the potholes would be covered within the next five months.
Two recent incidents in Guwahati have exposed the lack of coordination among government departments. Firstly, a schoolgirl lost her life near Ganesh Mandir due to a lack of coordination between concerned departments. Secondly, an e-rickshaw carrying school students overturned in a waterlogged area, fortunately without any injuries.
This has shattered the image of Guwahati as a smart city and turned it into a living nightmare for residents. In response, multiple FIRs have been filed, and an official from the construction company involved has been arrested. The Deputy Commissioner, who is also the chairman of the District Disaster Management Authority, has ordered an immediate halt to all digging works in the city and demanded reports on ongoing projects.
Uncovered drains, the absence of streetlights, rising anti-social activities, and water scarcity further contribute to the city's challenges. An apex body is urgently needed to coordinate and streamline the efforts of various departments to prevent further loss of life.