BY Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, August 1: Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi shot off a letter to Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping on Saturday to impress upon the tiol Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) to undertake construction and maintence works of tiol Highways in Assam or effect change in policy decision and hand over the responsibility to State PWD for their maintence.
In a letter sent to the Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari on Saturday, Gogoi said as per the policy decision of the Ministry though State PWD handed over stretches of the tiol highways No 37, 37A, 52 and 53 to the NHIDCL, the Corporation has neither taken up the construction activities nor undertaken maintence work leaving the state in the lurch.
It may be mentioned that as per the policy decision of the Ministry of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, State PWD Department has already handed over the stretches of NH-37 from Numaligarh to Dibrugarh and form gaon to Kaliabor, NH-37A from Kaliabor to Dolabari, NH-52 Dolabari to Holongi to Honongi via Gohpur and NH-53 Panchgram area in Barak Valley and Silchar ISBT to NHIDCL for their construction and maintence. However, NHIDCL so far has not taken any interest either in construction or maintence of the highways.
Situation in the stretches of these highways have become so bad that in some patches these stretches have become turned into virtual craters. In fact the conditions of these roads have led to resentment amongst local people and the demand for their maintence is growing and intensifying.
Chief Minister Gogoi said, "I urge upon Union Minister Gadkari to instruct NHIDCL to take immediate remedial measures failing which the Ministry should revert to its earlier policy and allow us to develop and maintain our stretches of highways".
Further, Gogoi said though the project for the maintence of NH-44, the life line of Barak Valley and link to Tripura and Mizoram, Rs. 218 crore was sanctioned in November 2014, the work has not been allotted till today. The mega block imposed by NF Railway for gauge conversion work and the resultant huge traffic load on NH-44, it has become almost impossible to maintain the highway under normal repair fund.
Moreover, a project worth Rs 55 crore on NH-52 at a vulnerable stretch near Bandardewa though sanctioned in December 2014, also hit a logjam as the work is still to be allotted.
Another two important projects on NH-52 and NH-31 allotted in January 2015 could not be started by the State PWD due to non-reporting of the Authority Engineers engaged by the Ministry despite several requests by the State Government.
Gogoi also requested Union Minister Nitin Gadkari to take persol initiative and intervene into matter to improve the tiol highways in Assam.