The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has recently issued a communication about sanction of Rs 78 crore for carrying out repairs on two stretches of NH-31D, which connects Siliguri with Jalpaiguri; these are Phulbari to Moynaguri and Moynaguri to Dhupguri.
The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) had earlier taken an initiative of expanding the two-lane highway into a four-lane one as well as repairing the two stretches.
The expansion work was stalled following land acquisition problems, as a result of which the repair work too was put on hold. NHAI officials had argued that it was pointless to carry out repairs since it would be taking up four-laning work in any case. It was considered convenient to undertake both tasks together. Now, with the problem of land acquisition remaining unsolved, the authority has decided to undertake repair work for the time being.
The condition of the highway is pathetic and chief minister Mamata Banerjee has blamed the NHAI several times for not undertaking any repair work. Earlier, the NHAI had written several letters to the state government pointing out the problems faced in expanding the national highways. However, despite several meetings with district officials, the state government had failed to resolve the issue.