Just like every other year Barak valley is on the verge of getting isolated from the rest of the state and India. Both the roads connecting Barak valley with the rest of the country are facing heavy landslides due to excessive rainfall.
Almost once in every year the people of Barak valley suffer from getting isolated from the rest of the country due to rainfall especially during the monsoon season as flights get frequently cancelled because of the bad weather, scheduled trains gets delayed or cancelled due to frequent landslides which leads to the damage of tracks.
Last year, same situation came up as the rail services stopped for almost one and a half month and during that period flight fare were higher than the flights itself which was around ₹31,000 per person making it impossible for a common man to travel.
As the valley faces this issue almost once a year, during this period of time buses also known as Night Supers acts as the saviors for the people who want to travel between Guwahati-Silchar as it is the only option left which is budget friendly.
Though the night supers which travel between Guwahati- Barak valley and Tripura takes the Meghalaya and the only issue with this route is the Ratacherra-Lumshnong stretch which is more prone to heavy landslides especially near the Sonapur tunnel.
This never-ending story of landslides is going on since decades which disrupts the vehicular traffic on NH-06 due to which the stranded passengers who get stuck in the traffic jam have to face several issues.
‘I am a regular commuter between Guwahati-Silchar and prefer busses over train as being a single female passenger its more convenient to travel in bus as one can get their own single seating space but sometimes we have to face may troubles as unpredictable traffic jams are the major reason for it, problem of food is exists as in the hilly terrain there are no shops and if you are stuck for more than 2 hours in a traffic jam then nearby shopkeepers try to take advantage of the situation by selling packaged food in double or sometimes even more than the doubled price and the second issue is of the washroom, especially for female passengers as no proper restroom facilities are available in the landslide prone areas’ said Tanushree Bhowmick, student as Assam University Silchar.
Everyone has to face multiple issues during the monsoon season as no alternate option is available for both the passengers and the bus staff till the Guwahati-Lumding is completely ready for vehicular movement.
Commenting on the traffic jam issue a Senior Night super driver said that ‘this issue is something with which we have been dealing since decades and it mainly occurs during the monsoon season, we have to wait for the landslide to get cleared for hours and hours and even in last year May we witnessed traffic blockage of more than 40 hours due to not one but multiple landslides from Lumshnong to Ratacherra where more than 10,000 vehicles remained stranded in heavy rainfall with no food or washroom facilities and driving in monsoon season becomes more dangerous because of slippery road and as a driver we always have to think about the life of the 40 passengers we are carrying with us before thinking about our lives and this is why we have to be very alert as one single mistake might lead to a fatal and unfortunate incident.
‘We are also waiting for the Silchar- Lumding highway to get completed as we are fed up of the continuous harassment, currently it is possible to ply our busses via lumding but the stretch till Mahur is not suitable for busses to ply as the road condition is pathetic and it’s dangerous to risk the life of passengers by going via that route and additionally driving on those pathetic roads will bring additional maintenance charges for the bus’ added another night super driver.
Interacting with regular commuters between Guwahati to Silchar, Cachar Chronicles tried to explore how the people of barak valley are somewhere still suffering to connect themselves during the monsoon season from the rest of the country.