The National Highway (NH-31) expansion work which is in a half done state in Bajali subdivision of Barpeta district is causing untold woes to the people. As the road is in a dilapidated condition, accidents have reportedly become the order of the day.
Road construction work in a particular stretch (read the length of the road is 27.3 km) of NH-31 in Bajali
sub-divisional area began under one KMC Construction Limited more than a decade back. But, more than 10 years have passed, but the road construction work is yet to get completed!
Fed up over the “huge delay” in the road construction work getting completed, the local people of Bajali along with the representatives of various organisations decided to take up an agitational programme. But, the Barpeta district administration convened a meeting in the last part of 2017 following which the agitational programmes were called off.
The meeting was attended by the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) leader, Samudra Patgiri, Giridhar Choudhury, president of Bazar Committee, Pathsala, Himangshu Roy, Chairman of Pathsala Town Committee, Ratul Roy of AGP, the then Sub-Divisional Officer SDO(C) of Bajali, Prerna Sarma, A Natarajan, the then SDPO of Bajali, RTI worker Pankaj Sarma, media persons and KMC officials, NHAI representatives Pulak Patgiri, ADC of Barpeta, Joydev Mahanta, the then Circle Officer of Bajali and members of AAKJSU, etc.
Prior to the said meeting, another meeting was also held at Pathsala with the socially aware section of people and Bajali Mahkuma AASU unit, Pathsala Bazar Committee, sub-divisional administration authorities besides local organisations. It was then that KMC Construction tendered a written apology and promised to complete the pending work within December next and construct a bridge at Patacharkuchi before March 2018. The district administration made it clear that if the company fails to meet their target this time too, then legal action will be taken against the aforementioned company.
The bridge construction work over River Kaldia is also going on at a snail’s pace and the overbridge at Dennatari is still not completed resulting in lot of traffic snarls on NH 31. The cars on the highway are bumper to bumper. The said construction company repeatedly promised to wrap up construction work at the earliest, but their promise “merely remains a promise”.
The company is yet to complete the road construction work in the Kaljar-Bezuchi stretch. When the said construction company was assigned the task of constructing roads, people of Bajali were “delighted” that finally they would be able to cruise their cars down the national highway. However, their dreams are turning out to be more of a “mirage” and the local people are “livid”.
The NH-31 stretch near Patacharkuchi market opposite to the Kaldia River is dotted with potholes and cases of accident are reportedly on the high. The road in the Patacharkuchi market area is in shambles and there is complete mayhem and people are left to their own elements.
In Patacharkuchi the construction company did not pay any attention to improve the service roads on both sides of the road. Underground passages have also not been constructed properly “forcing people to cross the road with perennial fear of losing their limbs”.
Strong resentment prevails among the socially conscious section of people and organisations of Bajali sub-division following poor quality work and incomplete construction of the four-lane expansion project on NH-31 between Kaljhar and Bezkuchi in Barpeta district.