TURA, May 11: While there was hope of relief for residents of the plain belt over the ongoing repair of their lifeline, the AMPT road, the paltry amount of money sanctioned per km of repair has left a feeling of anger amongst residents.
According to one of the contractors of the road repair project only an amount of Rs 7.5 lakhs per km has been sanctioned for the ongoing road repair between Nidanpur to Koylaghat in Phulbari. Given the extensive damage suffered by the road in the past few years, mainly due to originally poor construction, the amount is unlikely to leave lasting repairs.
“There are so many places in the same section which literally have swimming pools and require about 3 trucks of stone chips to fill up. Each km of road has more than 30 such potholes. How do we manage such repairs on such amounts? There is a requirement for more to ensure lasting repairs,” said the contractor on the condition of anonymity.
When asked as to why he still took up the project, the contractor said, “We use the same road and it is a nightmare for all of us. It was in the interest of all that the road repair has been taken up by us. Hopefully more can be done in the coming days with extra funding.”
Sanctions worth more than 24 crores have been earmarked for the AMPT road repair through the NHAI with the AMPT road coming under the ambit of the highway authorities (NH 127B) and tendering is due to be started soon.
“We are hoping that the road repair can be earnestly taken up at a later date through the new sanction until more major changes happen. We are hoping for an early start to repair work this time and it could be a life changer for people in the plain belt of Garo Hills,” said Phulbari MLA from the NPP SG Esmatur Mominin (Rahibul).
The AMPT road (NH 127B) starts from Sign Board near the border with Assam before covering the entire stretch of the plain belt and ends at Tura – a distance of about 130 kms and takes more than 6 hours to journey.