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Mizoram locals are paying over Rs 10,000 from Aizawl to Tlabung. Here is why

First Published: 9th October, 2023 13:17 IST

The usage of the tiny boats, while being the costliest and riskiest means of transport, is also time-consuming

Copy edited by Bhargobi Khaund

The deteriorating condition of National Highway 302 in southern Mizoram’s Lunglei district has left residents with no choice but to resort to costly and perilous locally-made tiny boats for transportation. The highway’s deplorable state has made it unusable.

The usage of the tiny boats, while being the costliest and riskiest means of transport, is also time-consuming. Travelling a distance of 97 kilometres between Tlabung and Lunglei now takes more than a day. The journey to Aizawl from Tlabung has become even more difficult, making it more than two days of travel. Travel expenses have increased to over Rs 10,000, in contrast to the previous Rs. 1,000 fare.

“This is somewhat ironic. While Rs. 9,000 is sufficient to reach Delhi from Aizawl, the same cannot be said for the journey between Tlabung and Aizawl, which are just 250 kilometres apart, as one must now have Rs. 20,000,” lamented a Tlabung resident.

Public transport ceased operation along the route in July, severely affecting maxi cab operators who rely on National Highway 302 for their livelihoods, leaving them with no income to support their families.

With nearly 70 per cent of National Highway 302 rendered impassable, heavy motor vehicles have also withdrawn from the road. This crisis has placed more than 60 villages at risk of potential starvation.

Despite numerous efforts to stimulate action, National Highway 302, connecting over 60 villages across the Indo-Bangladesh border with the state’s central region, remains in a severely deteriorated state.

National Highway 302, under the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, has served as the lifeline for Mizoram’s oldest town, Tlabung (Demagiri), Lungsen, and more than a hundred villages. The road was part of the ambitious Bharatmala Pariyojana project undertaken by the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Pvt. Ltd.
Originally slated for completion by the end of 2022, only about 18 per cent of the construction work has been accomplished over the past two years, leaving the local communities in a state of distress and uncertainty.

Also Read : Mizoram goes to poll on November 7, results on Dec 3. Details here

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