|4-laning work of NH-15 going on at a snail’s pace|
BISWANATH CHARIALI, Sept 13 - The four-laning and widening work of the National Highway from end of Biswanath Chariali bypass to Gohpur was to be completed in three years. It may be mentioned here that Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India had decided to widen the highway up to Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh, which is also known as the ‘backbone’ of the Northern Assam. It also connects important Indo-China border with rest of the country. Four laning of Holongi near Gohpur to Itanagar (around 19.20 km long), a part of the highway, was already completed. The existing stretch (Ch-208.00 km on NH15 to Ch-265.50 km on NH 15) from the end of Biswanath Chariali bypass to Gohpur is a component of the SARDP-NE Project connecting Itanagar, the capital city of Arunachal Pradesh. Also this road connects the districts of Sonitpur, Lakhimpur and Dhemaji of Assam and several districts of Arunachal Pradesh with the rest of the country.
Incomplete construction works on NH 15 near Behali area. Photo: Hiranya Borthakur
The Project was to widen the existing 2 lane road of 57.50 km stretch from Biswanath Chariali to Gohpur to four lane standard with the scope of 4 new major bridge construction, 4 new Railway overbridge construction, 26 minor bridge construction and 78 new culvert construction along with one Toll Plaza, 7 kms of service road, 11.5 kms of road side drain, 1.5 kms of protection work, 108 minor junctions and road marking & painting, informatory, cautionary, hazard marking sign boards and gantry erection for this 57.50-km-long stretch.
On the contrary, the work at present from Jamugurihat to Gohpur is going on at a snail’s pace and it is unlikely that the four-laning process would be over very soon. The process has led the road to such a condition that common people have to think twice before travelling by this road. Big potholes, scattered sharp-edged stones, incomplete piles of some of the major bridges in rivers like Buroi, Borgang and Burigang, half finished culverts are common sights along the road.
Several accidents have taken place along the highway only because of the alleged lackadaisical attitude of the National Highway Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL), which supervises the four-laning work. The repairing work of the existing road has also been going very slowly which was assigned to Zee Company. It completed work up to Kettela, Borgang and stopped there about a month back. The work for the proposed bypass near Biswanath Chariali town connecting Sakomatha and Burhigang is also yet to begin causing heavy traffic jam in the town, the district headquarter of Biswanath district. A number of heavy vehicles including long-distant trucks and buses ply along the highway everyday that goes through the town leading to hardships for common people.
The common people of Biswanath district have urged the authorities concerned to take necessary steps to complete the work at the earliest.