Assam: NH 315's deteriorating condition poses threat to commuters to Tirap Colliery

Assam: NH 315's deteriorating condition poses threat to commuters to Tirap Colliery

The deteriorating state of the National Highway 315 (NH 315) leading to Tirap Colliery of NEC Coal India Ltd in Margherita has raised serious concerns, with over a hundred potholes and waterlogging creating hazardous conditions. Debojit Moran, the General Secretary of the Green Bud Society, a local NGO in Digboi, Assam, has criticized the BJP-led Assam Government for its alleged inaction in addressing the critical situation.

Moran highlighted a concerning report covering the period from November 2022 to March 2023, revealing that more than 36,000 illegally loaded coal vehicles have been traversing the NH 315 during this time. The incessant traffic has led to the rapid deterioration of the road, raising fears about its imminent collapse.

The once-thriving NEC Coal India Ltd Margherita, housing six collieries, is now reduced to a single functional colliery—Tikak Colliery (East Patch). Moran predicts a bleak future for Coal India Ltd Margherita, as rampant illegal coal mining continues unabated in Namdang Colliery, Bargolai Colliery, Ledo OCP, Tirap Colliery, Malu Pahar, Jharna Basti, Tipong Colliery, Lekhapani, Bomgara, Paharpur, and Lalpahar. He warns of an impending permanent shutdown by the Central Government due to significant revenue losses.

In addition to the threat posed to the coal industry, the historical Patkai Hills are facing severe soil erosion problems, particularly at Tirap Colliery, where a substantial portion of the hills has collapsed. Debojit Moran holds Margherita MLA Bhaskar Sharma, the Margherita Sub-Divisional Administration (Civil), Margherita Police, Tinsukia District Administration, Tinsukia Superintendent of Police, Assam Government, and Assam Government Forest Department responsible for the destruction of the historically significant Patkai Hills.