Tripura seeks action from Assam for restoration of NH 44

Agartala: The Tripura government has sought immediate action from its Assam counterpart to restore mobility on National Highway 44, connecting Guwahati with Agartala.
Engineer in-chief Sunil Bhowmik said here on Thursday that due to continuous rainfall since April, the condition of NH 44, mostly on the southern part of Meghalaya and Assam, has become pitiable.
It has also become difficult for vehicles to travel through the highway.
Though the movement of vehicles on the road have increased manifold, no repairing and maintenance activity has been under taken so far.
Earlier, NH 44 was beingmaintained by BRO but recently it went to the respective state governments in their geographical area, he said.
This road is used mainly by the people of  Tripura and they are the worst sufferers of the problem, Bhowmik said.
‘‘Chief Secretary Y P Singh has been talking to his Assam counterpart and I am persuading Secretary, PWD and Chief Engineer (PWD) for their immediate intervention. But so far we have not received any assurance. Now for the past 10 days more than 75 per cent loaded vehicles are stranded on the highway which is also affecting the market here,’’ Bhowmik  added.
Finally, the Chief Secretary took up the matter with Ministry of Road and Highways as well as with National Highway Development Authority on Thursday seeking their intervention in restoring connectivity in Tripura on urgent basis, he stated.
Thousands of vehicles get stranded at Assam’s Lower poah area as the highway virtually turned into a paddy field due to heavy monsoon since April.
After mega block in Lumbding and Silchar, train services have been suspended at least for another year for gauge conversion. As a result, pressure on the highway multiplied.
Around 12,000 to 15,000 vehicles, most of them heavily loaded, cross the NH 44, which is very dangerous as the road is narrow and full of gorges passing through hills of Meghalaya, Bhowmik pointed out.
Despite continuous persuasion from Tripura, the situation remained unchanged, he added. (UNI)

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