SILCHAR: Government might change, but not the roads. This has become a common observation among the road users of this town. With continuous showers during the monsoon, almost all the main and arterial roads are giving way to cracks, craters, and holes, making commuting strenuous and painful.
Pedestrians have to walk cautiously with no safe footpaths along. A collapsed drainage system of British era adds to the woes of people. This has brought into focus the glaring fact about the quality and standard of works being executed by the PWD (R).
The condition of Sadarghat bridge point to Central Road, Nazirpatty, Hospital Road, Rangirkhari –National Highway stretch which links highways to Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Dima Hasao district and Manipur is indescribable.
Shillongpatty road becomes water-locked with a prolong shower and with that, the passage with concrete blocks is sinking and cracking. Why should the roads turn so bad? This is a common perception and allegation.
Commuting beyond the town in a southerly direction to Assam University, 20 km away, has become a nightmarish journey for teachers, students, and common people. The road touches a number of tea estates and villages and connects Hailakandi town. Big potholes and erosions have made the 50-km long road bumpy and traveling a horrendous experience. At certain points, stagnant rain waters with nearly one-foot ditch have turned the road into a pool. The commuting is risky and hazardous. Irritated students of Assam University have to hit the street, demanding immediate repair.
The students not only blocked the movement of all sorts of vehicles for 6 hours but also forced the PWD (R) men to come to the spot and listen to their grievances. Later on, Abhinandan Mahanta, president of AU Students’ Union, said, “We lifted the blockade on the assurance of PWD that the road would be made usable within 15 days. If not, we would resort to further agitation.” All Cachar- Karimganj-Hailakandi Students’ Association (ACKHSA) in a separate memorandum submitted to the executive engineer, rural roads division, as well as NH division on Friday has pressed for improvement of the network of roads and highways and also questioning the quality of work.
In the meantime, Dr. Rajdeep Roy MP met Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, Minister of PWD and Health, in Delhi, and discussed with him the poor condition of roads, particularly the Silchar-AU road and the difficulties faced by teachers and students. Dr. Sarma directed Rajesh Kemprai, Commissioner, PWD, to prepare a detail project report for improvement of the road in question.
Journey undertaken by this scribe on this stretch of road to AU and Hailakandi has blatantly exposed the poor quality of work, once again reminding one of the oft-repeated politician-bureaucrat-contractor syndromes of Congress regime. If roads and highways turn into pits and potholes in such a short time, one has reason to believe about the rerun of the syndrome.