Indo-Bangla highway in southern Assam in a shambles; call for repair
Indo-Bangla highway

Silchar: The Karimganj-Sutarkandi National Highway which connects southern Assam’s Karimganj district with Bangladesh via roadway remains dilapidated for the past several months.

The 14km road from Karimganj to Sutarkandi, which falls under the Karimganj North assembly constituency, is an important connectivity route in the district. Coal, limestone and various other items are exported via this road to Bangladesh.

Residents said the highway was last repaired around one year ago and since then, big cracks have appeared on the route. This deterioration reveals last year’s repair work wasn’t done correctly and the road conditions are now a “recipe for mishaps” at present, locals said.

They alleged that a large portion of the fund allocated for the road’s repair work was siphoned off due to which the road project was not done properly. A section of corrupt PWD officials and political leaders are involved in this and they embezzled government funds (meant for the road work) and filled their pockets, the residents alleged.

A few people, who claimed to be aware of the technical know-how of road construction work, alleged that the road’s repair work was done without adhering to government guidelines. The uppermost layer (pitch) of the road, which was in a shambles, was not removed (during the repair work one year ago) and thin bitumen layers were applied on the pitch because of which the road’s condition has turned pathetic just within a few months of repair work, they claimed.

They said vehicles are plying on the route with risks these days, but the authorities concerned are not paying any attention. Even though the government earns crores of rupees as revenues by exporting various items to neighbouring Bangladesh through this road, the authorities are not doing anything to keep the road in a proper condition, they added.  

Coming down heavily on political leaders, they said both the ruling BJP and Congress leaders have been oblivious regarding the matter. Not a single political leader has bothered to take up the issue with the authorities, they said.

The residents demanded that the highway be reconstructed properly. They also demanded that a probe be carried out so that the anomalies in the repair work done around one year ago be found and those responsible for the same be identified and punished.

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Karimganj North Congress legislator Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha told EastMojo on Tuesday that he would take up the matter with the authorities concerned and see what can be done in this regard.

An official at PWD (NH division), Karimganj, who did not wish to be named, said he would inform the senior authorities. Hopefully, necessary steps will be taken very soon, the official said.

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