From our Special Correspondent
SILCHAR,Jan 20: People living in the border areas of Katigorah of Cachar have been expressing their resentment against the ever deteriorating condition of National Highway 44, regarded as the lifeline of supply of Barak Valley, Tripura, Mizoram and Manipur. This resentment has been articulated by cross-sections of people of the area through protest rallies and demonstrations before the sub divisional circle officer and other departments concerned. Quite recently, vehicles owners’ associations gave call for indefinite wheel-jam which paralyzed the movement of passenger as well as commercial vehicles. At the intervention of the district administration of Karimganj and assurance by Gautam Roy, minister of excise and border area development, for initiating immediate repair and improvement of the highway, the jam was lifted. But, no action on the ground has been taken up by PWD (NH division).
A public meeting was held today under the initiative of Katigorah Development Committee attended by large number of people from different corners of the circle under the presidentship of Nabendu Shekhar Nath. Various speakers at the meet while expressing their anguish and anger against the apathy of PWD (NH division) demanded time bound action plan to improve the highway. They also in identical manner ventilated their surprise at the handing over of maintenance of this highway from BRTF to PWD. The PWD, according to them, has earned the distinction of being a non-performing department in Barak Valley. When it can not maintain its own network of rural and urban roads, how can it be expected to improve highway, they questioned?
In fact, the worst shape of NH 44 that links Agartala in Tripura with Jowai in Meghalaya is in the stretches from Karimganj to Malidahar which fall in Barak Valley in Assam. Traveling passengers of day and night super busses have the most nightmarish experiences to relate on the portion of highway in Assam for which they fail to find any plausible explanation. From all reckoning, this highway has virtually turned into highway of disaster as it has been the cause of some fatal accidents in recent past. Besides, the public meeting has demanded improvement of all the roads of the area which are in a deplorable conditions. The issues of unabated load shading also came up for criticism and it was resolved to press for commissioning of 33 kv sub station by ASEB in Katigorah. The public meet concluded with the resolution to resort to long drawn agitation for the reddressal of their grievances.THE SENTINEL