| Dilapidated National Highway 28(A) in Raxaul. Picture by Jai Prakash |
About 7km of a road passing through Raxaul on its way to Nepal has become no man’s road, literally, because of neglect and its condition.
Neither the state government nor the Centre are giving this stretch, part of National Highway-28 (A), due importance to a road of international importance.
The problem on this road leading to Kathmandu set in with the construction of an integrated check post near Raxaul in 2010 to connect to a dry port in Nepal. Then came the re-alignment of NH 28A, which connects Piprakothi with Raxaul on the India-Nepal border. Earlier, the road used to pass through Raxaul, a sub-divisional town in East Champaran district, known as a gateway to Nepal, but now the highway takes a detour 7km before Raxaul, and goes to integrated checkpost. As construction of the highway is on, the 7km stretch to Raxaul has been ignored.
M/s Tantia Constructions, that is working on the 62-km stretch of NH-28(A) between Piprakothi to Hardiyakothi, 7km before Raxaul, is ignoring the 7km stretch because it does not lead to the integrated check post.
But while the new road to Nepal is still in the works, about 2,000 vehicles using the traditional route, through Raxaul, have to go through hell once they cross Hariyakothi for Raxaul. Prof Anil Kumar Sinha, a teacher at KCKC College here, said: A number of parents moved their children out of established schools to lesser-known ones to spare their children the bad stretch of road.
Local MP Sanjay Jaiswal had raised the issue before district magistrate, secretary, road construction, and chairman, NHAI, but it failed to yield any result.
Jaiswal has accused the central government of partisan conduct. He said: “Neither did the central government give any direction to NHAI regarding the stretch, nor has it handed it over to the state road construction department (RCD). I’d even raised the issue in Parliament but minister concerned Jatin Prasad’s answer was equally unsatisfactory.”
He has now resolved to sit on a maha-dharna on the road with Raxaul residents on Tuesday if the problem is not attended to by Monday.
The MP has informed Bihar chief secretary and the NHAI chairman of his resolve, Prof Anil Sinha said.
Deputy project manager of Tantia Constructions, Md Salauddin, told The Telegraph: “Although the aforesaid 7km stretch has not been included in our agreement with National Highway Authority of India, we seriously plan to pitch the aforesaid stretch and at least make it motorable.” Executive engineer, road construction, NK Patel said: “The issue is concerns the Centre and NHAI. We are yet to receive any direction from the state government in this regard.”