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Parents of Rahul Kumar (name changed), a student of class eight in a reputed school at Kahalgaon township, better known as power city of Bhagalpur, have to face a new problem as their ward doesn’t want to attain his class daily.
Rahul was a very serious student earlier but for the last one year he has started avoiding his school and also started showing lack interest in study. “He developed a phobia, the phobia of attending school daily mainly due to traffic hazards on the road,” her mother narrates.
“He uses to go school on his bicycle but he has been in depression. When we visited doctor, we were told that the boy was suffering from dust allergy and also the victim of sound pollution. The doctor prescribed slipping pills and advised Rahul not to venture out in noisy places,” the lady mentioned.
One could not find any odd in Rahul as he appears normal like other teenager at his age group. But after a brief chat, one could understand his problem. “I am virtually faded up with the road jams, the noising horns of the
trucks and the dusts and smoke all along the road. The problem started soon I witnessed a road mishap and the loud horn blew when I was paddling my cycle to reach school. I could remember how the loud noise of the horn disturbed my entire nerve system and I did not hear properly for some time,” Rahul remembered.
Rahul is not the single instant, more than 70 school going students at Kahalgaon township have been suffering from such symptoms. “To avoid the main road, ie, NH-80 the students earlier had taken short-cut roads to reach school in time. And for that they had to walk beside the railway tracks or some isolated lanes or areas. The short-cut approaches were proved very dangerous for the girl students as there were several instances of molestations by road side Romeos or by the vagabonds. Parents of the suffers could not complain the problem of their wards as it was no possible in practice. Some guardians however started accompanying their girls to school but such practice could not possible on regular basis,” lamented Pradeep Kumar, a social activist.
“Students started avoiding schools here, fear-psychosis and the sense of insecurity has been haunting in the young minds, the situation is very alarming,” pointed out a senior teacher at Kahalgaon.
Parimal Gupta, a resident of Kahalgaon castigated road jams and the dilapidated condition of the road, ie NH-80 and held the concerned government machineries responsible for it. “I prefer rail to reach Bhagalpur despite having official vehicles, so bad is the condition of road, ie the stretch of NH-80,” admitted a government official on condition of anonymity.
“For over more than last 15 years we have been facing the road problem here. The stretch of NH-80 from Bhagalpur to Mirjachouki via Pirpaity and Kahalgaon earns notoriety due to bad conditions as well as traffic jams. We don’t know why the government yet not awake from its slumber?” lambasted a senior NTPC official.
The dilapidated roads generates clouds of dusts with the movement of traffic on it causing breathing problems and other chronical diseases, pointed out a senior doctor here. He admits that he has been witnessing number of young boys and girls at his chamber with such diseases mainly due to dust.
“It’s unique here that a NH is passing through the hearts of a township which is a classic case of violation of road laws. Besides, the government fails to maintain the NH properly which on the other hand gifting several odds to the mass,” said a retired state government employee and native of Ghogha.
However, the pathetic condition at Bhagalpur to Kahalgaon provides ample of scopes to the non-governmental organization to accelerate its activities. On the other hand, not a single public representative yet taken proper initiative here. “The government is sleeping, so the public representatives. General mass have to tackle the odd situations here time to time,” said an owner of betel shop at Kahalgaon market.