Impact of Modern Communication                                              Page:53

 
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Dr. Jatin
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   Introduction of Roads and Its Impact on the Mishings

    
  

It is known from early writings that the district of Lakhimpur was vast and, therefore, transport communication was in very poor condition(see Robinson, 1841:332; Hunter,1879:291-92). During the British period, Sadiya, Dibrugarh and North Lakhimpur were the most advanced British centres. But the transport communication was not satisfactory. The British administrators had  to suffer a lot in implementing administrative planning. The early picture of the district, from where the two villages Mohmora and Duhutimukh have been selected for study, is given by Hunter(1879:292) as follows:
             The first tract now forms the sub-division of North Lakhimpur and consists of a  long narrow plain gradually sloping southwards from the hills to the banks of the   Brahmaputra and Luhit rivers. This division is said to have suffered more from   the calamities which the latter events in the history of Assam brought upon the province than any other portion of it.
        
Such was the condition of Lakhimpur district before and during the rule of British in Assam. The main roads in Lakhimpur sub-division, as given by Hunter(1879:378) were Garmur, Kuchujan, Pathalipam, Dhakuakhana, and Kherketia. The cost of maintenance of these roads during 1875-76 was much higher than the roads of other sub-divisions of the district. The total length of this roads in the whole district was about 429 miles only. Hunter(1879:377) writes:
             ......besides these roads, the rivers from the only other means of  communication.  The large rivers detailed in a previous section of this statistical Account , are  open through-out the year, and thirty-five other minor streams are navigable  during the rainy season. And so far as Jonai area of the present Jonai sub-division is concerned, no mention has been made by him as there was no communication system with this area except by the rivers.
        The district of Sibsagar(now Jorhat) from where the village Barpamua is taken for study, was more or less in the same situation in communication as that of Lakhimpur district. The principal lines of  roads in Sibsagar district were the Trunk Roads,called the Seoni Ali,The Dhodar Ali, the Gar Ali, the Nawa Ali and so on. The bridge of the road was mainly of bamboo and woods and, therefore, most of the roads were rendered impassable during the rains.The total length of roads in the district as shown by Hunter,(1879:258-59) was about 409 miles.
         The improvement of  roads in Assam is recent phenomenon. Because only after the independence, construction and improvement of roads in Assam have taken place. At present, the length of  roads under P.W.D. in Sibsagar district is 2909.18 kms. and in Lakhimpur district, it is 948.01Kms.(in 1970-71). In 1977 it has increased up to3186.92Kms. in Sibsagar district and 1043.95Kms. in Lakhimpur district. The length includes the black topped, graveled, earthened roads of the two districts. The increasing figures of the lengths of the roads show  the improvement of road transportation in Assam.


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