GUWAHATI, Dec 2 - Alleging government inaction and departmental corruption behind the deplorable condition of the State�s roads, public activist Prof Deven Dutta today said that decades of neglect and anomalous practices had ensured that roads including national highways, State highways, PWD roads and rural roads remained in a state of perennial disrepair.
Prof Dutta said in a statement that such was the inertia of the government machinery that even repeated �strict instructions� from the Chief Minister fell on deaf ears and failed to move the complacent authorities into action.
�Bad roads have been largely responsible for the slack development process in the State. Everyone, from farmers and patients to students and tourists, has been suffering immense hardships due to dilapidated roads across the State,� he said.
Prof Dutta added that newspaper reports and the electronic media have been exposing the State�s terrible road conditions time and again, but the thick-skinned government authorities are yet to react.
Citing an instance, Prof Dutta said that the two different roads from the city linking the nearby Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary through Narengi-Bonda-Chandrapur and Jorabat-Chamota have been in a state of disrepair for years with no intervention forthcoming from the PWD.
�Pobitora is one of the few destinations of the State which attract foreign tourists in large numbers. Is this how Assam is doing its brand promotion?� he wondered.
Alleging that the government invariably goes soft on corrupt contractors and officials responsible for quality compromise during road construction, Prof Dutta said that occasional blacklisting of a contractor or suspension of an official is nothing but an eyewash, as such persons manage to get back into work.
Pointing out that bad road and bridge conditions have been responsible for many fatal road accidents across the State, the public activist said that failure of the authorities to put proper signage before speed-breakers and road dividers also account for a large number of road mishaps.
Prof Dutta further said that the road repair being undertaken in the city is not scientific as simply a layer is being put on the existing road which is unlikely to last long. Besides, it is also causing the road levels to rise abnormally, worsening the waterlogging problem. �This is sheer wastage of public money and it must stop,� he said.