Road to Manas National Park closed due to erosion
Barpetaroad-Bansbari road, the main route of communication with the World Heritage site, has been facing threats of erosion for the past few years. It became severe from the last part of June this year and the people of that area have been demanding protection of this all-important road from the onslaught of Beki.But the Water Resource Department of the State, instead of taking any permanent measure, adopted some purely temporary steps when erosion began in some parts of the road. The vulnerable portions of the road at Safakamar remained unattended this year also and a major portion of the road in that area was submerged by Beki about a week back from now.
The PWD was compelled to close the road for all types of vehicular traffic from August 18. People of a large number of villages of northern part of Barpeta and Baksa districts have been suffering a lot for the last few days due to the closure of this road. Several organisations have held agitational programmes and protest meets to repair the road and restore communication.
Amid large-scale protests and demands from the public, high-level officials, both from PWD and Water Resource Department, visited the area during the last two days. Local MLA Ranjeet Kumar Dass has also held consultations with ministers concerned. Dass, accompanied by the visiting officers of the two departments, addressed the local media in the Barpetarod Press Club at Barpetaroad in Barpeta district on Tuesday evening.Dass informed that the PWD and the Water Resource Departments have conducted an on-the-spot assessment of the erosion in the Safakamar area of the district and have chalked out action plan for its protection. He also informed that a project for geo-bag installation in 400 metres along the Bansbari-Barpetaroad road has been approved by the government, the work on which will begin once the water in the river recedes.
Referring to the continuation of the road communication between the north and south of the eroded portion, Dass said that PWD has identified two alternative roads to facilitate communication.
The PWD will provide two alternative roads for visitors to the World Heritage Site Manas National Park-cum-Tiger Project in view of the erosion threat from Beki River the main road faces at Lakshi Chowk at Safakamar. This was informed by Ranjeet Kumar Dass, MLA of Sarbhog and president of State unit of BJP.
While the road from Safakamar to Nathpara will facilitate movement of light vehicles, the Gobardhana-Khusrabari-Khairabari road will cater to the heavy vehicles. Both these roads will be repaired by the PWD within next 15 days as to make them suitable for vehicular traffic.
File photo of Manas National Park