Protest against shoddy NHAI-MBL work

AASU's Dimoria unit forms human chain, blocks NH-37

From our Correspondent

DIMORIA, June 16: The shoddy work by the tiol Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and its construction company MBL on the stretch of tiol Highway 37 and flyover at 8th Mile (near Ganesh Mandir) has triggered widespread public anxiety and resentment in the area.

The ‘Anto Dimoria Anchalik Chatra Santha’, the Dimoria  unit of the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), today staged a protest against, what it termed, corruption by MBL and NHAI. Student activists formed a human chain at 8th Mile in the Jorabat area and then blocked the tiol highway, causing long traffic srls.

The NHAI and MBL have been in the eye of a storm, as earth dumped to fill the huge hole that had developed on the flyover on at 8th Mile on June 9 last, caved in again recently, posing a huge risk to commuters. As many as 40 passengers of a night super bus coming from upper Assam had a close shave as a front wheel of the bus nearly got trapped in the yawning, three-and-a-half feet diameter hole.  

The hole was later plugged by MBL with soil only to be washed away by rain water. Unfazed, the company again plugged the hole with soil.

Following the human chain from 11 am today, there was huge traffic jam in the area. The AASU’s Dimoria unit warned the NHAI and supervising agency RITES for their negligence of East-West Corridor works.

Dispur Circle Officer Chinmoy th had to rush to Jorabat to bring the situation under control. The protesters demanded of him to clear the drain that evacuates water from Jorabat to Byrnihat and the drain from Monfort School to CRPF Gate. They also pointed out sections of half-done work on this stretch of NH-37 and the flyover. They demanded a high-level inquiry into the works being executed by MBL.

The Circle Officer assured the students of solving the problem within seven days. He also promised that a case against MBL will be lodged.

The East-West Corridor from Khapara to Sopur, a project of the NHAI, has been carried out by MBL Infrastructures Limited since 2005.

Recently, activists of the Asom Sangrami Yuba Chatra Santha (AYCS) also burnt the effigies of the NHAI and MBL, demanding a high-level inquiry into the incident. AYCS leaders said that it is a matter of shame that the flyover, which is part of the East-West Corridor, gave away after a spell of rains. They said that they had already lodged an FIR at Bashistha police station demanding a high-level inquiry into the appearance of a big hole on the bridge.

Locals alleged that technical faults in the flyover’s design, along with poor execution, was the cause for the hole developing. They demanded that everybody associated with construction of the flyover be brought under a probe.

The NHAI has also drawn flak after a portion of an RCC bridge over the river Digaru near Sopur on the city outskirts, collapsed on May 6 last.

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