Dr. Dinesh

The Andaman Trunk Road (ATR) northward route NH-223 is an amazing stretch of 360 kms journey which connects Port Blair to Diglipur in North Andaman which is riddled with pot holes (large & small),craters causing inconvenience and nightmares to the road users and it is extremely hazardous, rains in the recent past have turned the road virtually into a death trap. Everyday hundreds of vehicles passes through ATR, it is fully dotted with potholes and is dangerous to commute on road, motorists have a Herculean task driving through the stretch, tourists from all over the world come and visit the famous Limestone Caves of Baratang and also the beautiful Ross & Smith Island which has a sand bar joining the two Islands at Diglipur.

Recently an official release from the Prime Minister’s office had given a presentation on the vision for holistic development and had initially proposed to open up more Islands for tourism, seeing the bad road conditions the tourists take bitter memories back home and may effect the tourism potential in the long run. Pregnant ladies, referred patients and those already suffering from back aches who commute through the ATR, it can worsen their problems or medical conditions and moreover the drivers had to strain a lot and they too become fatigue while driving.

There have been frequent instances of minor accidents in the past one week because of break down of vehicles or vehicles gone off road, one can’t blame the driver alone for that, the narrow width of the road with potholes make the driver immensely difficult to maneuver while driving with bus passengers or truck loads of essential commodities and perishable items as ATR is the life line of Middle and North Andamans, sometimes while giving way to incoming vehicles the bus or truck tilt to one side as the brim of the road has been washed away by incessant rain. There is breakdown of spring leaf of vehicle due to bad road conditions, if there is breakdown of vehicles on ATR especially in Jarawa reserve area it is extremely difficult and time consuming to get a mechanic and also a nightmare for the travelers too, till an alternate arrangement are made to bring the passengers. 

Some of the stretches of ATR doesn’t have retaining wall or proper drainage and during rainy season the water gushes to the road and the tarred road is ripped off. Since it is a National Highway proper maintenance of the road is of utmost importance for the safety of passengers, PWD should do the maintenance work on war footing or else more accidents and breakdown of vehicles can happen and the concerned authorities should not wait for a tragedy.