Aizawl: Popularly known as the ‘lifeline’ of Mizoram, National Highway (NH) 306 has become a nightmare for motorists. Massive potholes, which can easily be mistaken for craters on the moon, dot several places along the highway, especially the stretch between Kolasib and Vairengte towns in Mizoram.
NH 306 (earlier NH 54) begins in Silchar, Assam at the intersection of NH 37 and generally runs southward passing through Lumding, Silchar and Kolasib in Mizoram.
Road connectivity has been one of the primary election agendas of the ruling Congress in the state. However, despite holding the chair for the past ten years, the locals and truck drivers have only expressed discontent at the party over the current condition of the highway.
On several sections along the highway, one will find potholes, some of which are as deep as 2 feet, claim motorists. These potholes not only make driving difficult but also pose a threat to motorists after they drive on the highway after sundown.
Pappu Yadav, who has been driving on the highway on his goods truck for the past seven years, EastMojo, said: “It is very difficult to drive on such a road. There are potholes that measure up to 2 feet in depth. Over the years, the only development we have seen is that the road has been widened a bit hut the potholes still remain.”
Another truck driver, Rakesh Yadav, said that every time they drive through the highway, the vehicle needs to be serviced more often, which is after every 15 days.
Truck driver Abdul Alim echoed similar views: “The repair works are only cosmetic, which last only for a few days. By the time we return from our destination, the condition is back to square one which is basically of no use. This has been going on ever since we started driving through the road.”
Apart from the perilous journey, the condition of the roads also poses serious health hazards for local residents and passers-by. Whenever vehicles pass through the residential areas, they leave behind a massive trail of dust. This can be hazardous for people with breathing problems.
While laying of bitumen toppings on some parts of the stretch was seen a few days prior to assembly elections in the state, the question over delivering a permanent solution still remains.