By - Subhasis K. Chanda**
*Media & Communication Officer, PIB, Agartala
“We never thought of such a road between the hills and forests”, said Minati Bala Bhowmik, a resident of East Buradikhi at Matabari Panchayat under South Tripura district. The slightly grey haired lady was searching for her cow while she was walking down the concrete road which goes towards Dhupkuchi. Some steps ahead, there was Dulal Ghanta who was walking with loads of wood on both his shoulders. He echoed the same sentiment. He said : “This road was a brick-laid road earlier with big holes in between. One auto was enough to occupy the road and no space had been left even for a bicycle. Now, heavy trucks move along this road.”
The National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC) has constructed the road from eastern side of Bura Dighi to Dhupkuchi, Brahmachara and Bhumihin Colony. under the Prime Minister’s Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY). Now the drains on both sides of the road are under construction. For the 2.91 km long road, Rs. 1 crore has been sanctioned. When asked about the road, the residents of Brahmachara, like Suresh and Jaylakshmi replied smilingly, “We don’t know about other places, but Brahmachara has been benefited a lot.” Earlier, if anyone fell ill, there was no alternative but to carry the patient on shoulders. Now, ambulance or other vehicles can easily ply over the road from the doorstep of the houses of the villagers. This road which is very near to the Agartala-Sabroom National Highway 44 has lessened the hardships of tribal as well as non-tribal people living in the villages.
Another road which is three kilometers away from the National Highway, has tied all the adjacent tribal villages together. This 10-km road from Sindhukpathor under Satchand block to Bishnupur not only facilitated the daily transportation system of about 12,000 people but also tied the Satchand and Rupaichhari blocks in a single knot. Soon, heavy vehicles will run along the road, said the inhabitants. In due course of time, people will be getting a vibrant life in their daily living. Inhabitants are able to easily market their produce. This road has also been constructed by NBCC with an estimated cost of Rs. 2. 41 crore.
Under ‘Bharat Nirman’ encapsulated as rural connectivity 277 rural roads will be constructed in the South Tripura district of which construction work with 138 roads with a total length of 455.469 kms has already begun. With these roads being completed, 2,26, 492 people will get road connectivity. In 11 blocks under the district, a total of 1040.56 kms of road will be constructed which will benefit 5 lakhs of people living in 320 village Panchayats and TTAADC villages.
In the State, a total of 611.88 km of roads has been constructed in rural areas and 819.33 km of road is under construction as of November 30, 2007. With these roads coming up, 4,301 rural hamlets have received road linkage with National Highway or the nearby markets. The State Rural Road Development Agency under PWD has taken up a target for construction of roads of about 1704.54 km linking 427 hamlets in 2008-09.
This is how rural Tripura is getting a facelift by the grace of Bharat Nirman and PMGSY. More significantly, this sprinkling road network has started bringing vibrancy to rural living and economics with roads getting rural hamlets linked with National Highway and the markets.