Silchar: Residents of Rajatilla in Assam’s Cachar district are allegedly receiving threats, including death threats, for raising their voice against irregularities in the reconstruction work of the Katigorah-Harinagar road-cum-embankment project (under the Katigorah assembly constituency), which has been in a dilapidated condition for the past five years.

Locals of Rajatilla, including Ranjit Das, Nikhilesh Das, Ruhul Amin and Nasim Uddin among others, told EastMojo on Thursday that the government had allocated an amount of approximately Rs 2.81 crore for flood damage repair and reconstruction work on the 150m-long Katigorah-Harinagar road-cum-dyke at Rajatilla in the financial year 2019-20.

While the repair work started in that area in 2019, about 44km from Silchar town, the project has not been completed till date, and residents allege that it is being done without adhering to government guidelines since the beginning.

The Katigorah-Harinagar road, which borders Bangladesh and runs along the Barak river, has faced large-scale soil erosion over the years. In 2018, a portion of the road caved in because of erosion in Haritikar village, as a result of which shops and houses were damaged and surface communication was snapped.

The Katigorah-Harinagar road, which borders Bangladesh and runs along the Barak river, has faced large-scale soil erosion over the years

The then chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal had directed the district administration to take necessary steps and make the road commutable at the earliest. An alternate route was then built. The road, lying in a pitiable state for years, connects several villages, including Rajatilla, Borbond, Kinnarkhal and Harinagar among others. The population of all these villages is around 30,000 to 40,000.

Now, local residents allege that the reconstruction of the road-cum-dyke is being done at a tardy pace, without following guidelines and works like piling and drain construction have been done shoddily with the use of poor quality material. They also allege that the work is being done with sand collected from hilly areas whereas only sand of a specific quality can be used for the work, as per government guidelines. This will make the road cave in again as soon as the next monsoon, they fear.

What is worse for the residents, however, is that they are now receiving threats for voicing their concerns, allegedly by the ‘goons’ of the contractor involved in the project. Local businessman Abdul Hashim alleged that he has received death threats from the ‘contractor’s people’ for raising his voice over the matter.

Contractor A. K. Paul was not available for comments.

The locals, however, demand a magisterial probe and strict action taken against all those found involved in corrupt practices.

According to K. B. Nath, executive engineer, PWD, Borkhola & Katigorah territorial road division, the reconstruction work is taking a lot of time “because of technical constraints”.

“We get only two to three months for carrying the work. It is not possible to do any work when the water level of the river (Barak) remains high. The project is nearing completion and hopefully the work will be wrapped up very soon,” Nath told EastMojo on Thursday.

He added that the delay was also owing to fund-related issues.

Katigorah Congress legislator Khalil Uddin Mazumder said he would speak with the authorities concerned regarding the matter. “Any kind of illegal activities will not be tolerated,” Mazumder added.

Also Read | Development, tribal welfare will be BJP’s poll planks: Tripura CM

Trending Stories

Latest Stories

Leave a comment

Leave a comment