Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Nengkhra residents cry for help as Rongtham Riverdisrupts communication


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Biplab Kr Dey

Williamnagar, July 1: Residents of the village of Nengkhra Agalgre, just about 100 meters from the NH – 62 in the district of East Garo Hills (EGH) have expressed their frustration over the complete lack of understanding towards their plight despite repeated commiserations to their representative which they say have gone completely unheeded.

Nengkhra Agalgre is about 15 kms from the town of Williamnagar  and falls under the same constituency.  The villagers have sought a bridge that allows them to cross the river at all times without having to risk their lives in doing it.

The frustration comes to the fore in the wake of the village being completely cut off from the rest of the state due to the increase of water level in Rongtam River due to incessant rains over the past few weeks. The river waters have reached dangerous levels, which has everyone worried even as crossing it has become highly dangerous.

The village, as per locals, remains cut off for almost about one month every year which has meant children not being to go to school, zero access to medical facilities or work and sometimes even food.

“We are really frustrated at what has been happening every year. We literally have to stake our lives to even get food to eat or to send our children to schools which fall on the other side of the Rongtam River. Heaven forbids that someone falls terribly ill. How do we carry that person through such strong currents on a makeshift stretcher,” asked local resident, Silchi N Sangma, the president of AHAM, Nengkhra unit.

Further, the village also connects the villages of Bolmoram and Dobu Chitimbing. The village has about 70 households and a population of close to 300. Their main sources of income are agriculture, plantations and the odd job cards work that comes their way.

A visit to the outskirts of the village showed a raging Rongtam with school children waiting near the banks  for their parents to carry them through the neck deep waters. Incidentally, this is their  first day of the ongoing exams. Interestingly, the villagers stated the water level had actually gone down.

“For about one month every year, we remain cut off from the rest of the world and our children have to go without education. Many a times during this deluge, we have to go without food as the river is too dangerous to cross. As residents of the state, can we be left without support this way ?” asked a resident, Bealish N Marak.

“We have submitted a memorandum to the local MLA, Marcuise Marak in March this year but there has been no reply at all. Besides, the written complaint, there have been many verbal reminders to our current and former MLA. However, there has been no response and we don’t know who else we need to approach for this,” informed Jemel Marak, another resident.

Most of them expressed haplessness and wondered  whether there was any end to darkness for them.


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