HAILAKANDI, June 15 - The people of Hailakandi district and a part of the neighbouring State of Mizoram have expressed serious concern over the dilapidated condition of the inter-State National Highway-154 from Dhaleswar in Assam to Bairabi in Mizoram via Hailakandi town. In some parts of the highway, particularly at Manipur, Gramthan, Jamira, Gharmurra and Ramnathpur, the highway is in a pathetic shape. In the Gramthan area, slush and potholes have severely affect the movement of vehicles.
The NH is being looked after by the NH division of the State Public Works Department, but no repair works have been undertaken so far. The president of the Dhaleswar-Bairabi National Highway Demand Committee, Manash Kanti Das, alleged that the local MLAs and MP are keeping mum on the issue and maintained that they should ask the Government to immediately repair the highway.
Das further alleged that the Government is reluctant towards the development of this important inter-State national highway. He said that the plying of vehicles has become impossible on the road due to the innumerable potholes and slushy terrain.
Two years back, the Barak Development Parishad, an NGO, raised questions on the quality of works on the Dhaleswar-Bairabi (Mizoram) section of the NH-154 via Hailakandi and demanded a thorough inspection.
The road was declared a national highway in 2002 after a prolonged movement by the people of Hailakandi. Das said that he had contacted the Chief Engineer of the NH division of the PWD in Guwahati and added that there were no representations from the MLAs and MP for repair works on the highway.
The condition of the highway from Katlicherra to Ramnathpur has deteriorated to a great extent and commuters travelling along this stretch have to risk life and limb on a regular basis. It is often noticed that goods-laden vehicles are unable to cross the highway at Gramthan village in Manipur area.
Das said that when they started the movement for a national highway in Hailakandi connecting Mizoram a decade ago, their main demand was to hand over the execution works to the Border Road Task Force (BRTF). But the State Government decided to control the national highways itself.
In Gharmurra area, the road has not been constructed even after 15 years of the declaration as a highway. Local traders are facing a lot of inconvenience as they cannot transport their goods due to the bad shape of the road.