NH-53 and VIP Road blocked

SILCHAR, Nov 11: As a part of its continuing agitation, Pratibadi Gana Mancha, a platform of various organizations, today gave call for blocking Silchar-Imphal NH-53 and VIP Road leading to the airport at Rangpur point on the other side of river Barak across the town which was joined by hundreds of supporters. The eight-hour blockade which began at 9 am halted all sorts of vehicular traffic, making it yet another event to express the deep rooted resentment and anger of people of Barak Valley against the indifferent and callous attitude of the Centre and the State towards the deplorable conditions of highways and roads and their equally intriguing silence over any action plan to improve them.
The worst shapes of highways, particularly NH-44, regarded as the lifeline of the three States of Mizoram, Manipur and Tripura as well as Barak Valley had its echo in the Assembly when the Opposition rapped the PWD Department for its inaction despite prolong agitation by different organizations of the three districts of Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi. Raising the issue in the House, Ataur Rahman Majarbhuiya, AIUDF MLA, who had undertaken fast unto death for pressing the State Government for repairing and improving highways and roads bitterly criticized Ajanta Neog, PWD Minister, who had promised to visit the valley to have an on the spot study of the ground reality, but did not keep her words, raising many questions in public mind. Parimal Shuklabaidya, BJP MLA, said it had become difficult for them to move around the valley since people in general call them by names equating them with no better than animals.
It is to be recalled that since June last, Pratibadi Gana Mancha has been carrying on agitation in phases, starting with mass rally, human chains, blackout, all women display of anger, call for quitting by the people’s representatives, oaths taken by youths to continue the struggle in blood-soaked roll-sheet and token fast. All this failed to stir even the two ministers, Dinesh Prasad Goala and Gautam Roy as well as the Parliamentary Secretary (finance) Ajit Singh. They even could not give any plausible explanation except promises.
In fact, conditions of highways and roads of this valley have never been so bad during the last 50 years. PWD Minister Ajanta Neog stated on the floor of the Assembly sometime back that Rs 140 crore had been sanctioned by the Centre for improvement of the Barak Valley stretch of NH-44. Dinesh Prasad Goala, Minister of Urban Development and Housing, at a press meet later on revealed additional Rs 100 crore had been allotted by the Centre for the highway. The big question is where does all this fund go? (Sentinel)

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