PATHSALA: KMC Company, which is in charge of construction (expansion) work of NH-31 in Bajali subdivision starting from Kaljhar to Bezkuchi, has always turned a deaf ear to the pleas of the public and is unnecessarily delaying the construction work, thereby pushing people towards danger, alleged the All Assam Students' Union (AASU).
AASU also alleged, based on an RTI application, that an amount of Rs 89.45 lakh had been released by the company for plantation work in the middle corridor of the road for beautification and natural support. But there is hardly any sign of plantation in that portion.
A section of locals alleged that the company failed to construct even 50 percent of the total work. Due to the poor condition of the road, frequent accidents have till date claimed a number of lives. Thousands of travellers use this road every day to visit various parts of Assam and the Northeast. Various local organizations had, in the meantime, undertaken agitation programmes like road blockade and submitted memoranda to various authorities, but to no avail. A letter by one Pankaj Sarma to the Prime Minister on December 16, 2015, too failed to elicit any positive response.
The construction of a bridge near Dhamarkur is still incomplete. Similarly, construction of a railway overbridge at Pathsala is still to be completed while the approach roads to various small bridges are yet to be completed. Bridge construction work over River Kaldia at Patacharkuchi was suspended due to reasons best known to the authority concerned.
The delay in the expansion work of NH-31, especially in Bajali subdivision of Barpeta district, has led to an alarming increase in road accidents and has caused severe inconvenience to the people.
The construction of the 27.3-km road was started by KMC Construction Ltd, but more than a decade has passed and there has been no sign of completion of the road. A number of high-level meetings were convened by the Barpeta district administration where exasperated local people, including representatives of various organizations of Bajali subdivision, decided to refrain from taking up any agitation programme. But all this ended in smoke.
KMC Construction tendered a written apology and promised to complete the pending work within December 2018 and to construct a bridge at Patacharkuchi before March, 2018. But it failed to do so. The district administration even threatened to take legal action against it.
In Patacharkuchi, the construction company did not pay any attention to improve the service roads on both sides of NH-31. The underground passages have also not been constructed properly for which people have to cross the NH-31 disregarding the dangers to their lives. The drains on both sides of the road also remain incomplete while no tree has been planted in the middle. Moreover, the constructed portion of the road is not smooth and huge cracks are already seen. People and organizations of Bajali subdivision have expressed strong resentment over the poor quality work and incomplete construction of the four-lane expansion project on NH-31 between Kaljhar and Bezkuchi.
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