BARPETA, Sept 19 - Slow progress of work for the upgradation of National Highway-31 in Barpeta district and indifference attitude of the administration in this regard have made journey along the road hazardous and a time consuming one. Incomplete road, half-done bridges and strenuous bridge approaches have made life miserable for those who have to pass this portion of road.
Traffic chaos on both sides of the railway crossing near Pathshala is a regular phenomenon for the last 10 years. Sometimes it takes hours to cross the railway line once it is intercepted due to passage of a train. The progress of the construction of the flyover on that spot is not at all satisfactory. Till now, the southern part of the flyover has become motor-able, but 50 per cent of the northern part is yet to be done. Movement of vehicles along the southern part has also not been allowed so far.
Though unruly scenes are witnessed every day, no traffic police personnel is present on the site. Some drivers, who travel through this portion of the road on regular basis and often face such traffic snarls, said that the police is hardly seen there to regulate the movement of the traffic.
Incomplete bridges at Dhumarkur, Pathshala and Patacharkuchi have also led to much inconvenience as roads in those portions are narrower than others. Besides, it is mandatory on the part of the contractors to maintain the road. Deep ditches on both sides of the railway crossing have made the journey hazardous.
Several organisations have been demanding early completion of the ongoing upgradation work of the highway. Keeping in mind the demand of the people as well as the inconvenience of the movement of the increasing traffic and frequent road accidents in that area, the Barpeta district administration organised a tripartite meet on October 12, last year. The representatives of the construction company assured in the meeting that required repairing of NH-31 and other excess roads would be done within November 11, 2017, and the road to Patacharkuchi would be constructed by December 2017. However, the representatives also informed that the bridge over Kaldia river at Patacharkuchi might take another three to four months.
The deputy commissioner strictly warned the contractor firm to follow their commitment or to face legal action. He entrusted the job of supervision of the progress of the work to SDO Bajali and Circle Officer Bajali on a day-to-day basis. All these discussions, decision and warning turned into farce as the people have continued to suffer.