The Telegraph
Thursday , July 31 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

Bandh for road repair

- No buses plying in Batun for more than a month

Balurghat, July 30: A 12-hour bandh was called by the CPM in Batun in Kumarganj block today to protest the apathy of the administration in repairing a road that connects the area to Balurghat.

Buses have stopped plying on the road for the past one-and-a-half-months, inconveniencing around 50,000 people in the locality. Only those on cycles and bikes can take the road with a broken culvert.

“This is the only road that connects us to the district headquarters Balurghat and the block headquarters Kumarganj. The culvert on the Patiram-Ujirpur road broke around one-and-a-half-months ago. After that, no vehicles are plying on the road. We have appealed to the administration a number of times but no steps have been taken. This forced us to participate in the bandh today,” said Raju Ghosh, a resident of Batun.

Members of the Trinamul Congress also supported the dawn-to-dusk bandh.

Most schools, shops, panchayat office and banks in the area were closed today. Batun is 20km from Balurghat.

Mofajjal Hossen, the district committee member of the CPM and Opposition leader of South Dinajpur zilla parishad, said: “This is the only road, which connects this locality to the main areas of the district. The Bangladesh border is less than 2km from Batun. We have called the strike today to protest the apathy of the administration in repairing the road. Most of the shops, schools and offices were shut today.”

After the culvert on the road broke, residents of Batun have to walk 8km to reach Patiram, from where, they take a bus to reach Balurghat.

Bijan Saha, a resident of Motherganj, around 25km from here, said: “It is very difficult for us to commute. The worst sufferers are pregnant women and students have to go to Balurghat, Patiram and Kumarganj everyday. This is a very important road as people of more than 16 villages depend it. But unfortunately, we are helpless, as the administration is not taking any steps in this regard.”

Subhashis Pal, the PWD in-charge of the zilla parishad, said: “We have already told the block development office of Kumarganj to take the necessary arrangements for the sake of the local people immediately. It is unfortunate that nothing was done earlier. We are looking into the matter seriously.”

Ganesh Sharma, the officer in-charge of Kumarganj police station, said: “There was a strike demanding the repair of a road in Batun. It was not a total strike as some of the shops were open. The bandh was peaceful.”

Gautam Dutta, the headmaster of a high school in Batun, said: “It is very inconvenient to reach the school through this road. Students and daily commuters find it very difficult to travel on this road.”