In last month, I was in Assam, visiting places like Dhemaji, Jonai, Gogamukh, Jorhat etc. and it was quite an experience. While I learn many new things, realise new realities, but this trip home during this hot summer May was quite an experience.
The first thing which struck me was, National Highway 52. Well, it has changed, finally, I see a change in our district Dhemaji, thanks to NH52. It is still just a two lane road, not like four or six lanes national highways in Gujarat, Delhi etc. but still, it is awesome. Way back in 1992, we used to get down from bus while bus used to cross some wooden bridge on some small river. Bus had to stop on the road, in order to let another bus pass it, either from the front or the rear. We had to wait in front of railway bridge to cross Simen river. We did not have bridges on National Highway 52 on any rivers which was little bigger in size, say 50 meters wide or so.
The distance from Jonai to North Lakhimpur is approximately 150KM and we used to cover that length in approximately 6 hours during winters, that is. During rainy season, from Jun to September, well, it was kind of gamble if we could reach the destination. Now it takes approximately 3 hours, and by car, it takes 2 hours 20 minutes. Well, I did that timing.
Well, those were days, till 1999. Now it seems a distant past. NH52 has concrete bridges all along, except some patches near Samarajan in between Bordoloni and Dhemaji, NH52 is as good as any other roads in India. The development came late, very late to our district but finally it has come. I could see happiness in people.
Electricity has arrived in many villages, towns in Jonai. And finally, it has arrived i my village too, in April 2012. Life has changed and changed for good.
People now have witnessed a change, from good road to electricity. We never saw a change before that. Road was not good, remained so, electricity was not there, and remained so. But with NH-52 and electricity, some change took place. I could feel the difference in people.
One more change is coming, the old meter-gauge ( MG) rail line is being converted to broad gauge (BG) line. So, very soon, we might be able to actually reach Delhi, capital of India, from our district by boarding a train. It would be huge. In my days, 1992 or so, reaching Guwahati by a bus was a big thing.
One day, the Bogibeel bridge connecting Dibrugarh with Dhemaji District will be completed, may be by 20120. And we will have access to a medical college and hospital in maximum 1 hour. That would be great, almost unimaginable as of now!
I hope NH-52 remain well maintained in coming years too.