Aizawl (www.zoramobserver.com): Normal life was crippled today in all parts of Mizoram due to a 12 hour strike called by the main opposition- the Mizo National Front (MNF) in protest against dilapidated condition of roads across the state. The bandh observed from 5 am in the morning however, was called off at 3 pm in the afternoon as it received strong public support throughout the state.
Apart from government offices and commercial banks, all shops and business establishments were shut down and the roads look deserted as no private vehicle and public transports were seen plying on the roads. All activities came to a grinding halt and life has been thrown out of gear as people could not come outside. However, no untoward incident has been reported during the day long strike.
The bandh has been called in protest against bad roads and to draw government attention towards repairing roads across the state. It was strictly observed throughout the state as people stayed indoor and all vehicles except on emergency purpose stayed off the road.
In the state capital and other towns, MNF activists sat on duty at several points obstructing vehicles and preventing people from coming outside. Security has also been beefed up in the capital and in all parts of the state in view of the MNF-sponsored bandh today.
The state wide bandh was called off at 3 pm in the afternoon.
Meanwhile, MNF senior vice president and Action Committee Chairman Tawnluia told a press conference today that the reason for staging total bandh was to protest against the indifference of the Congress government towards repairing roads and to show solidarity to the people who are facing enormous hardships due to bad roads.
“The bandh received strong public support throughout the state as they have been badly affected by bad roads. It was because of strong public support that the state wide bandh has been called off at 3 pm in the afternoon though it was supposed to clamp till 5 pm,” he said.
He alleged that Congress government joined hands with non-tribal contractors to make money out of roads. As a result of this the government failed to maintain quality control and monitor construction works which is one of the main reasons for bad roads in the state. “Corruption is the main factor responsible for bad roads across the state,” he further alleged.
Tawnluia further said that the opposition would pursue and look into the remarks made by Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla that the government would begin repairing roads as soon as rainy season is over.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla convened a meeting of Mizoram Road Fund Board on Wednesday and said that all roads in the state will be repaired as soon as monsoon is over.
Citing that the government did not pay negligence to roads, he said that roads could not be repaired effectively due to increase in the volume of rainfall from March this year.
The meeting of Mizoram Road Fund Board also highlighted that 4662 km long National Highways and 100 km long bridges in the state are under the maintenance of state PWD and during the current fiscal Rs. 39.50 crore has been allocated for renovation of roads which include refilling of worst section of road, clearing drains and repairing culverts, among others.