Tripura: Residents Block Road with Burning Tyres in Demand for Road Reform at Kailashahar

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Posted in Featured, Northeast, Tripura
Abhijit Nath, NET Correspondent, Tripura

Agartala, June 24, 2024: In a protest for road reform, residents of Tripura’s Samarurpar village panchayat located in the Chandipur block of Kailashahar under Unakoti district blocked a crucial dirt road by burning tyres on Monday afternoon. The demonstration highlighted long-standing grievances about the poor condition of the road in Ward No. 3, which more than 200 families rely on for daily transportation.

The protest quickly escalated as tensions flared between the demonstrators and local panchayat representatives. The road in question has been in disrepair since before 2018, becoming particularly treacherous during rains, turning slippery and nearly impassable. Residents claim this has disrupted not only their daily commutes but also the functioning of a local madrasa, with children struggling to attend school due to the road’s condition.

Despite repeated complaints to local authorities, including written and verbal reports to the Block Development Officer (BDO) of Chandipur and the sub-divisional ruler of Kailashahar, no action has been taken. This inaction spurred the community to take matters into their own hands.

The President of the Chandipur Block Youth Congress Nazrul Ali led the blockade. Speaking to reporters at the scene, Ali expressed the residents’ frustration: “We have been ignored for too long. Our children can’t go to school safely, and our vehicles can’t navigate this road. We’ve reported this issue countless times, but nothing has been done.”

The protest drew immediate attention from local officials. Dilip Das, the deputy head of Samarurpar village panchayat, arrived at the scene to address the situation. Das dismissed the protesters’ claims as politically motivated, suggesting that the opposition was using local issues to pressure the ruling party ahead of the upcoming panchayat elections.

“The opposition is trying to create confusion among the people,” Das told the media. “We have made several attempts to repair this road, but our efforts have been thwarted. To construct a proper road, we need the cooperation of the landowners to widen it. Unfortunately, those protesting today have not agreed to provide the necessary land.”

Das further argued that the panchayat has faced challenges in implementing road repairs due to these land issues. “We have certain obligations. Without voluntary land donations for road construction, we are limited in what we can do. The allegations that we haven’t tried to resolve this are baseless,” he stated. “The local people have never formally applied to the Gram Panchayat or the BDO for the construction of this road. We are committed to developing all roads in the Panchayat area, but we need everyone’s cooperation.”

As the blockade continued, it caused significant inconvenience for the general public, underlining the urgent need for a resolution to the ongoing road dispute in Samarurpar village panchayat.

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