With the visit of President Pranab Mukherjee to the Assam University campus, slated for next week, the state government is working overtime to carry out patch work on the ever dilapidated Silchar – Hailakandi road.
Despite pressing many workers and machinery into service they are finding it difficult to get the road back into shape as the rain God is repeatedly playing truant. Probably, the Gods above also want the President to see the actual situation, which is experienced by the thousands of students studying in the university every day.
|Silchar-Assam University Road|
The last round of major repairs of this crucial road was carried out in 2005, when funds were sanctioned and the work was assigned to the North Eastern Council (NEC). Then the mandate was to develop the entire road from Silchar to Faisen in Mizoram and promote the road as the second alternative option to reach Mizoram.
However, the entire exercise was a cruel joke on the students as well as the thousands of people who reside in areas near this road. Though the wooden bridges were converted into concrete, the rest of the construction was of such poor quality that portions of the road starting giving away even before the completion of construction work of the entire stretch.
Since then the repairs have been carried out many times, but every single time, the funds have been misutilised by the shameless men in power. The students have carried out various agitations demanding the quick repair of the road and a lasting solution to this perennial problem, but quite inexplicably nothing has been done yet.
The Assam University authorities have also repeatedly shrugged off the responsibility on the argument that the road comes under the purview of the state’s Public Works Department (PWD). However, many locals feel that the university authorities can take this issue up much more vigorously with the state and central governments and can get funds sanctioned on their own.
Quite surprisingly, no major life threatening accident has taken place so far on this stretch. Indeed the students have the blessings of the Almighty. However, a lot of students who have travelled by this road or are travelling now are permanent patients of illnesses like backache, spondylitis, sever dust allergy and so on. Wonder, whether they should all demand compensation from the government for their sufferings.
So, whenever, VIPs visit the university, hopes are revived. Many in Silchar are currently discussing that, last time when Assam’s Governor JB Patnaik visited the university, he had to take the road as his chopper could not land at Kumbhirgram due to bad weather. The journey caused huge embarrassment to the district administration. Therefore, this time, when the President is coming, the administration will leave nothing to chance. However, the state government has lost all shame and probably nothing embarrasses them in a system where there is no accountability.
Therefore, we the common man can only hope that, the VIPs keep visiting the university so that the patch works at least keep taking place.