MANGALDAI: Various social organizations of Darrang district including All Darrang District Students' Union have been demanding the immediate conversion of the stretch of NH 15 from its zero point at Baihata Chariali to Mission Chariali in Tezpur to a four lane highway. But the government of India has been turning a deaf ear to this genuine demand which has transformed the stretch of the NH 15 into a killer highway. The recent tragic death of five morning walkers at Sipajhar caused by a speeding truck on May 24 has once again reflected the gross negligence of the government towards the safety and security of the common men.
It may be added here that from the strategic point of country's defence, NH 15 is the only highway to link the Red Horns Division of Indian Army with the Gajaraj Corps at Tezpur with the onward connectivity to important locations namely Tenga valley, Tawang, Mechuka etc. At the time of the opening of the Bogibeel Bridge on the Brahmaputra River connecting the north bank at Dhemaji with the south bank at Dibrugarh, the concerned department of government of India did not pay their attention to the possible increase of vehicular traffic on NH 15 as the heavily loaded trucks coming from the outside states to Tinsukia and Dibrugarh take the NH 15 to avoid the already congested NH 37 via Guwahati.
This sudden increase of vehicular traffic on NH 15 has caused tremendous threat to the common lives at Baihata Chariali, Sipajhar, Mangaldai- the district HQ town of Darrang, the commercial hub at Kharupetia, Dalgaon, Rowta and Dhekiajuli.
Following the recent tragic death of the five ill fated morning walkers at Sipajhar, office bearers and members of All Darrang District Students Union (ADDSU), the district unit of All Assam Students' Union on Thursday resorted to a ten-hour hunger strike programme at Sipajhar demanding immediate conversion of the stretch of NH 15 from Baihata Chariali to Tezpur in to a four lane highway, and sanction of ex gratia relief amounting to Rs. 20 lakhs to the next of the kins of the deceased and Rs. 10 lakhs to the injured persons.
In the memorandum addressed to the Chief Minister through the Deputy Commissioner, the ADDSU also demanded for setting up of a medical college in Darrang, upgrade of Sipajhar PHC in to a 200-bedded hospital and construction of the proposed bridge over Brahmaputra river connecting Narengi in Guwahati with Kuruwa in Darrang district.