43 MILES : Substandard construction turns NH into death trap

By Our Correspondent

Agartala, November 20, 2023

People living in the 43-mile area , a tribal-dominated helmet on the hilly slope of Assam-Agartala national highway, spending sleepless nights. The locals of the area alleged that due to the use of substandard materials in the construction works in the national highways maintenance work in the area had turned the entire highway stretch into a death trap. According to locals, a private firm called Neetin Sai Constructions was awarded the contract worth Rs 216 crore for carrying out the construction.

Followed by all the official procedures, the construction agency received the clearance from the department. But, the ground situation of the highway stretch is now left in quite a dangerous state. The retaining walls that act as a support system to the highway are found to be very weak. The recent rains had already washed away a portion of the returning wall and resulted in large potholes. For a substantial point of time, traffic movement through the stretch remained suspended. Locals said that damaged portion of the highway could invite major road mishaps leading to loss of human lives. But, the authorities are now showing promptness to restore the patch.“The retaining wall is already broken. If any heavy vehicle passes over the road, there are high chances of the road getting caved in. The consequence will be devastating. When the locals started to raise their voice, the construction agency started the restoration work but the pace of work is very slow”, a local has said. The villagers had also vented anger against the Public Works Department officials for use of low quality of materials in the maintenance works. “Instead of taking such works seriously, the PWD officials are busy in making money. The public interest seems to have taken the back seat here”, a local added. Sources said that Executive Engineer Anjan Saja and Amit Das were the masterminds of all the irregularities cropping up related to the department. The locals have drawn the attention of the state government towards the issues and said that urgent action should be taken before something goes terribly wrong.

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