NORTH LAKHIMPUR, Nov 9 � Miserable road connectivity from the district headquarter of North Lakhimpur to various places is a well-known fact plaguing the people here, besides construction of the surface communication network at a snail�s pace has been adding to the woes of the haggard commuters since quite long.
The PWD road from National Highway-15 at Gogamukh on the Lakhimpur-Dhemaji district border to Dhakuwakhona has been in a dilapidated condition since long, and successive governments and elected representatives have failed to improve it over the years. The 42-km long road is nothing short of a nightmare for both motorists and commuters alike along with weak and shaky wooden bridges over different rivers and streams on the said route.
The PWD declared this road as a State Highway (Proposed No: SH-22) from Gogamukh to Ghilamora covering a distance of 12.40 km. This proposed SH-22 connects important places like Gogamukh over National Highway-52 to Ghilamara and Telijan, leading to the district headquarters of Dhemaji with a total length of 56.90 km.
The PWD also planned a State Highway (proposed No: SH-42) from Ghilamora of Lakhimpur district to Machkhowa of Dhemaji district covering a distance of 32.50 km and Machkhowa to Butikur with a distance of 20.37 km. Though this road will connect some important places of Dhakuakhana sub-division in Lakhimpur, the remaining portion of road from Ghilamora to Dhakuwakhona remained excluded from this proposal.
It may be pertinent to mention here that the State Government received a loan of $320 million from the World Bank on November 5, 2012 for improvement of the State highways and district roads under the Assam State Road Project. The project had the objective of building about 500 kms of roads, including bridges in Assam over a period of six years.
The road from Gogamukh to Dhokuakhana was one of the major roads included in that project. It may be recalled that Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had laid the foundation stone of this road project ten months ago and a contract worth Rs 112 crore for this road construction project was awarded to Shivam Construction and JCC Pvt. Ltd. However, no progress has been made during the last ten months in constructing this State highway which still has weak wooden bridges.
The Lakhimpur Forest Department also felled a lot of trees on either side of the road to make way for the construction. Yet the progress of work on this road is still very slow and no visits have been made by any concerned officials of the PWD, including Commissioner and Special Secretary. As a result, more than three lakh people of Dhakuwakhona have been suffering from the lack of the most basic infrastructure.
The contractor companies have dumped heaps of sand on this road and their slow pace of work has now created a very dusty environment in the area concerned, thus affecting commuters and school-going children.
In yet another case, Shivam Construction company, which bagged the contract for the rural road construction project in Nowboicha under the PMGSY scheme, has been accused of poor standard of work. The company has been blamed for sub-standard work on the repair of the roads from Doolahat Tiniali to Doolapathar via Doolahat Bazaar, the Doolahat Bazaar-Phoolbari-Naharanee Road and the Doolahat Tiniali-Mohghuli Road via Solmoria-Konwarpur.