BISWANATH CHARIALI, May 24 � A 37-year-long demand to construct the second bridge over the Jia Bharali river still remains a distant dream for the people of Naduar area under Sootea LAC in Sonitpur district. They have been demanding the bridge for the last four decades. The Tarun Gogoi-led Government has not paid any attention to this long pending demand. The former Lok Sabha MP from Tezpur, Mani Kumar Subba, who represented the Parliamentary constituency for long 15 years also did not utter a single word regarding the proposed bridge at Chakighat in the Lok Sabha. It is pertinent to mention that the people of this greater area have been observing a good number of agitational programmes during the post Independent era to highlight their demand for the bridge. But the concerned departments of the Government of India have not taken any concrete step to make the dream a reality. The construction of the said bridge will not only speed up the development of the entire north Assam, but also make the communication more convenient among the four districts along with 16 sub-divisional headquarters of Arunachal Pradesh, its capital Itanagar, the headquarter of North Eastern Council, Shillong, and the State capital, Dispur.
The Government of India had surveyed the area through North Eastern Council (NEC) in the �80s and �90s and decided to construct the bridge based the survey report. The Government had also sanctioned an amount of Rs 70 crore for the purpose during the Sixth and Seventh five-year plans and invited open tender in this respect. Unfortunately, it stopped the preliminary works citing shortage of funds later for the reasons best known to the Government. The former MP of Tezpur, late Purna Narayan Singh, played a vital role pressurising the Central Government on the issue of construction of the bridge and raised the matter in Lok Sabha many times. But everything went in vain as the respective State Governments failed to raise the issue. The construction of the bridge will reduce the distance to Tezpur from the eastern part by around 40 kilometres saving a lot of money and time. The people of entire northern Assam have urged the present MP of Tezpur, Joseph Toppo, and the Assam Government to solve this long pending demand as soon as possible.