Behali, Assam: If you happen to visit Bihmari in Behali area of Sonitpur district, chances are that you’ll have to cross the Ranganadi river to reach the village. If it’s during the moonsoon season that you’re visiting, then you’d even risk your life to wade through or swim across the swollen river.
This is the daily story of residents in Bihmari village, located along the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border. In the absence of a bridge or a proper mode of transportation, villagers, especially school-going children, are forced to cross the river, often putting their life in danger.
The situation worsens when the Ranganadi river swells during monsoons. “We face severe problems especially during our half-yearly exams, as during this time of the year, the water levels increase,” a girl student said.
Coming down heavily on local MLA Ranjit Dutta, who is also a Cabinet minister in Assam, for his failure to provide proper facilities at Bihmari, a villager said: “During elections, he promised us that all our problems will be looked into. But so far he’s yet to event visit us, forget everything else.”
Tired of government apathy and empty promises, residents have now threatened to ‘merge’ their village with the neighbouring state of Arunachal Pradesh if things don’t improve soon. “We will be left with no other option but to take that extreme step. The Arunachal Pradesh government has already welcomed us into their fold,” a villager said sarcastically.