Silchar: National Highway 6, commonly referred to as NH-6, is well known as the primary highway connecting Assam with neighbouring Mizoram. But lately, it has become a ‘nightmare’ for commuters.
A major portion of NH-6, one of the busiest connectivity routes in Barak Valley, passes through Hailakandi district, one of the three districts in this valley. The road runs through all the three assembly constituencies – Algapur, Hailakandi and Katlicherra – in Hailakandi district.
According to local residents of Hailakandi, lack of proper maintenance has resulted in the road being dotted with craters and pits. The approximately 90-km stretch from Dhaleshwar (in Assam) to Bairabi (in Mizoram) on NH 6 is the worst affected and needs immediate repair, they said.
Despite the deteriorating condition of the highway, the Public Works Division is yet to take action.
Residents also complained about the NH-6 being full of large potholes that turn into ‘ponds’ from waterlogging during rainy weather. They expressed concern that the muddy road affects vehicular movement and could very well be a health hazard by being a “recipe for mishaps”. It was reported that the areas most neglected are Jamira, Gharmura, Karicherra and a few others.
As per reports, several mishaps on this NH-6 route have turned the road into a death knell for commuters. On May 6, two men – identified as Jiyab Uddin Barbhuiya (38) and Samas Uddin Choudhury (40) – were killed after a two-wheeler collided with an excavator in Lalcherra of Hailakandi district.
23-year-old Pranay Malakar was killed after being hit by a car on the highway in Kontirampur, Katlicherra on April 25.
On April 3, 61-year-old Mihir Das and his daughter Payel (15) suffered critical injuries after being hit by an Alto car on the highway in Lalapur, Lala. Locals had blocked the road for hours following the accident in protest against the mishap.
On March 23, eight-year-old Taslima Begum was killed after being mowed down by an Alto car on the highway in Bowarghat. This accident also led to a road blockade by protestors.
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Seven-year-old girl Anisha Das was critically injured after being hit by a car on the highway in Chandrapur, Lala on March 20. A youth died and five others were critically injured on the outskirts of Hailakandi town on February 14.
The local residents of the affected areas informed that before the 2021 assembly polls, MLAs promised to work for public growth and development, including improvement of road infrastructure. However, the promises were conveniently forgotten after the elections, they said. They sought the intervention of Karimganj BJP MP Kripanath Mallah and PWD (NH division) into the matter.
The dismal condition of NH-6 was confirmed by Katlicherra AIUDF legislator Suzam Uddin Laskar. He informed EastMojo that the Dhaleshwar-Bairabi road has been in shambles for many months, especially the portion from Katlicherra to the Assam-Mizoram border. Through a memorandum addressed to Gulab Chand Kataria on Tuesday, he sought government’s intervention in maintenance and repair of the highway.
In response to the public ire, MP Kripanath Mallah said that he would take up the matter with the government for immediate repair of the national highway.
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