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Traders Block NH-34 Protesting Horrible Condition

2015-03-10 16:21

Angry traders digging up trench on NH 34 in Govindapur protesting negligence in maintenance of the road. Picture by ABHI GHOSH

Vehicle plying over the NH 34 in Govindapur. Pic by ABHI GHOSH


Santipur, March 9: Angry villagers and traders in Nadia’s Govindapur blocked NH-34 for about five hours on Monday disrupting traffic movement protesting the shocking condition of the road in a stretch of about 500-meters.

The villagers did not just put blockade, but dug trenches protesting the apathy and negligence of NH authorities to carry out maintenance works. The villagers have alleged that there is practically no existence of the road except the muddy stretch which has been causing fatal breathing problem for the locals due to smoky dust.

Death of a woman, identified as Asha Mudi (59), due to breathing trouble that allegedly caused due to the dust led the outburst on Monday. Subhash Mudi, brother of woman said:”Excessive dust caused serious trouble to my sister”.

The blockade which started at 9 Am, was withdrawn at about 2 Pm, only after project director of the NH-34; Krishnanagar talked to the agitating locals assuring resumption of maintenance work. Around two thousand vehicles had stranded on the road, while police later diverted traffic to Ranaghat-Krishnanagar bypass.

ADM (General) Utpal Bhadra had to strand due to the blockade.

(Disruption of traffic movement on NH 34 prolonged further for about one more hour as students of Dignagar high school put a blockade near Dignagar market demanding that they be allowed for Class 11 final examination, which they were refused by the school authorities for poor attendance)

For about last one year, the condition of about 80-meter stretch of NH-34 from Barasat to Krishnanagar is in horrible condition. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee during her visit to Krishnanagar in August last year had expressed her sheer annoyance over the condition of the NH 34. The NH authorities have carried out patch works making the condition better, but at least two stretch of about 500 meter each in Govindapur and Shimurali near Chakdaha is still in horrible state.

Nripen Das, a vegetable seller, who joined the blockade on Monday said: “There is no existence of road at all. The black top of the road is missing for over a year. Mud has come out and the road has become literally a drain. A mild rain inundates the stretch causing tremendous problem for the vehicles as well as to us. In dry season we cannot live there due to heavy dust. The people living here have been suffering from breathing troubles for the last one year. We have been inhaling dust everyday which has been causing serious effect on our health. Many people have also been suffering trouble in their eye sight. The dust has also caused problem in our business. We have been pleading with the MH authorities for maintenance, but they have done nothing so far”.

In January the locals had also put blockade, the NH officials assured that maintenance work will be completed with two months.

“They had given us a written undertaking for the maintenance. The NH officials alleged that the stretch is low lying causing stagnation of water. They said that a drain would help them to maintain the road. The 79 traders of the Govindapur market constructed a drainage system along the stretch incurring 8.36-lakhs, nevertheless, the NH authorities bothered to take up the maintenance work”, alleged Govinda Majumder, a cycle repairing shop owner.

“Since winter arrived, we have been facing tremendous problem due to dust. It has told upon on our life and economy”, said Swapna Sarkar, a doctor who has a chamber in the market, who also joined the blockade.

“I attend many patients who either have shops or home along this stretch of road, who have been suffering problem due to dust. Many of them have been suffering from dust allergy, while many others have developed asthmatic problem with serious breathing trouble while many have developed burn in their eye. The common primary reason behind all these problems are the dust, which these people are being compelled encounter”, Sarkar said.

“The woman who died on Monday had also breathing trouble along with other problems”, she added.

An officer of NH authorities said: “The stretch is a quite difficult one to be normalized soon. The area is low lying for which we have sent a proposal for raising the level, which is yet to be approved. This has caused delay. Short term maintenance is not possible in the stretch to reduce the trouble of the local. We have proposed to raise the level followed by water bound macadam (WBM) works followed by stone aggregate work with bitumen. 
The entire work is approved would at least take three more months to be completed. But, in absence of approval we have been passing helpless days. Nevertheless, we have instructed an agency to do basic maintenance work to reduce the trouble”.

The agitators said: “We are ready to face troubles for few more days if the NH can make permanent solution. We will wait for the ensuing HS examination to be completed and then resume fresh movement with blockade”.


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