Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Highway to hell, a real life account

Our reader Mr. Anirban Dey, sent us this touching account of his arduous journey from Guwahati to Silchar. This is not his story alone, rather this is the story of almost every resident of the valley who has to travel through the hellish highway to Guwahati even as our shameless leaders continue to enjoy their flights on our expense.....  

This highway through beautiful sylvan hills has turned into a nightmare, thanks to government apathy. Photo Courtesy:
My name is Anirban Dey. I am a 32 year old businessman who needs to regularly travel from Guwahati to Silchar.  I am not a rich businessman who can afford a 5,000 rupee bill for a flight from Guwahati to Silchar. So, I travel regularly by bus knowing fully well that it traverses through the highway to hell.
My grandfather, who was recently admitted in a private hospital, was counting on his last days. So, I went to Guwahati to buy some medical equipment and some medicines which were unavailable in Silchar. On the way back, I sat on my journey to Silchar, starting with the relentless sharp corners of Nongpoh and ending on at Adabasti. Some passengers including the ladies vomited, unable to handle the twists and turns the bus was frequently taking.

The ghastly smell due to the vomiting made the atmosphere unbearable inside the bus. We, the passengers complained to the drivers to arrange for some cleaning but who cares? The bus conductor and his colleagues remained confined to the front cabin and did not bother to respond. Then at Adabasti, we were introduced to extremely unhygienic food. The kitchen at Adabasti is so unhygienic and dirty that anyone can fall sick by having the food cooked there. Such dirty food is probably not even served in prisons but that food was our only hope for surviving the night.
We are being charged over Rs. 500 by the bus operators for a journey between Guwahati and Silchar but sadly, owners of these bus companies have never bothered to make arrangements for proper refreshment and toilet facilities for the passengers despite the fact that they are earning crores from the bus services on this important route.

Anyways, the bus started and everyone began to sleep. After some time, my legs started feeling cold as ice due to the winter chill. I wonder why can’t a bus priced 30 lakhs, in the 21st century, be well equipped with a heater. Hell, even my Maruti 800, 2004 model has a heater which keeps me warm during winter. We, the people of Barak Valley are being treated like a bunch of pigs, who are being emotionally and physically slaughtered every single day.
Finally, at 4 AM the bus got stuck at Ratacherra. Then, at 6 AM in the morning we found out that some truck hauling food grains had capsized near the infamous Malidor bridge. I said, Oh wow...this was the last we all needed after an arduous night long journey. It was past six in the morning, and I feared waking up as the call of nature could hit me any time but there were absolutely no arrangements anywhere nearby. I was terribly hungry but could not even think of taking anymore unhygienic food after last night’s ordeal at Adabasti.

At 11 AM, we were still stuck at the same place with no hope of any immediate movement. I had 20 kilograms of luggage with me including clothes, medicine, medical equipment etc for my sick grandfather.  So, I could not even think of walking down seven kms to Gumrah to catch a taxi.  My cell phone had no signal, but I got a phone call on my co passenger's phone informing me that someone had left a message at the bus operator’s office in Guwahati that my grandfather had passed away. So, due to this hellish ride, I could not even bid a final goodbye to my beloved grandfather.
The news left me absolutely dejected. I felt, what the hell I was going to do with all this worthless luggage, as my grandpa was no more with me. I was angry, sad and took the decision to ditch the bus and get the hell out of there. I walked all the way down carrying the luggage in my head like a stupid coolie. My father then sent a friend of mine with his motorbike till Malidor. I walked all the way down till Malidor with my clothes covered in dust. My friend’s motorbike was a rickety splendour and he requested me “to go easy on the tyres”. However, I just wanted to reach home as early as possible. Finally, I reached Silchar at 2 AM with my face, clothes even my eye brows, all covered in dust with tears in my eyes.

Now that’s the life of a Silcharite, who could not even bid goodbye to his grandfather, simply because after 65 years his country’s independence, his town, the second largest in the state, does not have an all weather road connecting it to the state’s capital. Will the life of rich politicians, businessmen, top corporate executives, government bureaucrats end up in this way? I guess no. They will have their endless demands for chartered helicopters and airplanes at their disposal.
What about us, the real people who make the government work paying their hard earned money in income taxes, sales taxes, and expensive road taxes for all the worthless roads we travel in risking our lives and valuables. HUH!!! HUMANITY BE DAMNED...

There are hundreds who die on the road to Silchar due to road blocks in ambulances without even being transported to Guwahati. And I am sure, the list will increase day after day as we all travel everyday on this highway to hell. Last but not the least, I just hope no one really goes through this madness which I unfortunately had to experience...

1 comment:

  1. We must put more pressure on the elected representatives to perform and at the same time punish those who failed to perform.

    Team Silchar Today


Silchar through the Lense