According to the data of facial injuries reporting to the OPD of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, at Himachal Pradesh Government Dental College and Hospital Shimla, the year 2022 witnessed 256 patients visiting the hospital out of which 64 (25 per cent) patients required major operations.
A stretch of the National Highway-31 from Kanki to Dalkhola in North Dinajpur district has been encroached upon by people who live around those areas as they spread corn on the road to dry, while also demarcating the area with bricks, stones or tree trunks.
Motorist have often complained about the same, while the practice has led to the highway becoming narrower and has been leading to big traffic snarls. The Bengal-to-Bengal State Highway has also not been spared.
“The road looks like a death trap too, while the same may lead to fatal accidents if not checked on time,” sources said. However, officials of the district administration have allegedly remained silent on the matter so far
Raiganj, Karnadighi, Dalkhola, Chakulia and areas under the Goalpokhar Police station in North Dinajpur district produce a large quantity of maize, and the crop has been harvested very recently. The harvested crop needs withering in the sun so that it is free from moisture.
“A section of the people has been found drying up maize after blocking portions of the road. As such, traffic congestion is being felt on NH31 and NH34 from Kanki to Dalkhola. Similar traffic congestion is felt on the 50-km-long stretch on the Bengal to Bengal State Highway from Botalbari in Karnadighi to Chakulia. Road accidents are a daily occurrence there, while those riding on two-wheelers are the most hit,” sources said.
The Secretary of the Uttar Dinajpur Bus and Minibus Owners’ Association, Plaban Pramanik, said they have been facing huge traffic congestion on the road for the last around one week after people started leaving the corn on the road to dry.
“Given this congestion, vehicles are often late in reaching their destinations, while this has also hampered out business. In addition, accidents are being reported due to such a practice on the road. If the roads are not freed immediately, we will be compelled to suspend our services on the road,” he said.
Islampur SDO Manish Misra could not be contacted for comment.
The Additional SP of Islampur, Kartick Mandal, said they have already made announcements on loudspeakers among the residents against using the road for drying crops. “We will take action against such a practice very soon,” he said.