JORABAT, March 19 - Despite opposition from various organisations, including All Assam Tribal Sangha (AATS), the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is going ahead with construction of the toll gate on NH-37 in Sonapur�s Nazirakhat area under Kamrup Metro district.
The alleged �forceful� construction of the toll plaza by deploying security personnel on the construction site is causing resentment among the residents of Dimoria.
The AATS and regional units of All Tiwa Students� Union, All Bodo Students� Union and Bodo-Kachari Students� Union were scheduled to hold a road blockade against the toll plaza on March 18, but cancelled the plan following the government�s notification barring any gathering in view of covid-19 outbreak.
�As the NH-37 here passes through the tribal-dominated block, the people of Dimoria will never allow the toll plaza to come up here,� warned the tribal groups, saying construction of the toll plaza in the area will go against the wish of the people and they are not ready to accept the �forced� toll gate.
It may be mentioned that the NH stretch from Khanapara to Sonapur has many bad patches, with no basic facilities like ambulance, trauma centre, phone booths, no dedicated area for parking of trucks, no bus stands at important spots like the Jorabat junction.
It has also been alleged that no public hearing was conducted in Dimoria vis-a-vis construction of the plaza, while a meeting with only a few organisations was held at the DC office, which the AATS and some other organisations boycotted. The AATS has been demanding a public hearing in Dimoria and a halt to the construction work until the people of Dimoria give the nod to the plaza.
Apart from highlighting the dilapidated condition of the highway and lack of basic facilities, Ratneswar Ronghang, president of Dimoria unit of AATS said, �Due to our geographical location, transportation cost of goods and commodities is high in comparison to other States of the country. Introduction of fresh toll on national highways in the State will further increase the to-and-fro transportation cost, which will adversely affect the economy and development of Assam and other north-eastern States.�
The protesting groups have warned that the situation may go out of hand if work on the toll plaza is not halted immediately.