| A waterlogged stretch on National Highway 28A in Motihari. Picture by Sachin |
The deplorable condition of National Highway 28A connecting Nepal with Motihari, has dealt a blow to vehicular movement.
Apart from halting operations of a Volvo bus service, the under-construction road dotted with potholes has compounded the woes of commuters. Motorists are forced to take time-consuming alternative routes.
The condition of the highway has compelled heavy vehicles to bypass the 58km stretch.
In October 2011, Tantia Constructions Limited started constructing the highway with a deadline of April 2014. The company had agreed to make the road at least motorable before construction was complete but owing to the slow pace, the stretch has now turned into a death trap, especially for heavy vehicles and cargo containers.
“The Andhra Pradesh-based Gaurav Luxury Bus Company, started Volvo operations on April 13, 2012, had to stop operations. The company had to stop running the vehicles from April 22 this year owing to the deplorable road condition. It has turned from bad to worse in the past year,” said local manager of the firm, Ram Swarup Gupta.
Raxaul sub-divisional officer Sayeeda Khatoon said: “I have repeatedly raised the issue of public inconvenience with local officials of Tantia Construction Company and asked them to make the road motorable.”
Sources said even the order of the East Champaran district magistrate Vinay Kumar in this regard has failed to bear results.
On the reasons responsible for the bad condition of the road, the co-ordinator of Tantia Constructions Limited, Mohammad Jawed told The Telegraph: “The road has become a cause of concern for the firm because most of the vehicles plying there are owned by Tantia Constructions.”
He, however, said: “We are struggling to improve the condition of the stretch in the rainy season. The road would be repaired after the monsoon.”
However, repeated attempts to contact the project manager of Tantia Constructions Limited, Alok Sen Gupta, went in vain.
When informed about the poor condition of NH-28 A between Motihari and Raxaul, the road construction department executive engineer, L.L. Patel, expressed helplessness in the matter stating the road project concerned had to be completed by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).
He, however, told The Telegraph: “I feel bad over condition of this important road. I have repeatedly requested the National Highways Authority of India project engineer to take up the matter, as the situation might turn alarming in this flood-prone zone of the district.”