GUWAHATI, Oct 20 - The Bishnu Rabha Flyover Extension Project currently under execution under the State PWD (Roads Division) will add an arm connecting the flyover to the RG Baruah Road.
The foundation of the flyover was laid by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on March 19 this year and it is scheduled for completion on September 21, 2021. Funded under the Government�s State Own Priority Scheme�General, its contract was awarded to Shree Gautam Construction Company Limited.
Originally estimated to be approximately 476 metres long, the projected cost of the flyover is Rs 58.76 crore.
While the objective behind the project is to ease the severe traffic congestions in the Ganeshguri area, a prime commercial hub of the city and a connecting route for thousands of commuters daily, citizens feel that its purpose would largely be frustrated unless the flyover extends up to the Assembly rotary point on the other side. This is because having a single connecting arm to the flyover from the RG Baruag Road side alone without ensuring any connectivity on the other side will have a limited impact on the traffic.
With an established work order dated March 27, 2019, the construction process has taken over the area, bounded with the multiplicity of everyday struggle for all entities alike � be it the commuters, labourers or the supervisors.
While all the major projects in the State are plagued by delays resulting in missed deadlines and cost escalation, Assistant Engineer (PWD Roads Division), Pranjit Talukdar maintains that the flyover would be completed ahead of schedule, i.e., by October 2020.
�We are all eager to complete the job as soon as possible and without hindrances and compromise so that the commuters, micro-entrepreneurs and proprietors, the traffic authorities and other similar departments who are suffering will get succour soon,� he said.
The initiation of the project, however, has also resulted in pain for a lot of daily commuters and local micro-entrepreneurs and proprietors who have been directly affected. The daily commuters passing by or stopping in the area have now to face the hustle, smoke and dust of heavy machinery amongst a swarm of PWD workforce and signs.
�The ongoing construction has created problems for people who commute daily through this area. I travel back and forth in my own car but since the construction I have started using cab service just to avoid driving in this area. The narrow lanes that have been created for the purpose of driving � with a major portion of the road blocked for construction � have created more congestion. I do believe that the arm will be beneficial in reducing traffic, but I�m not too sure about the duration. So, till then, this is going to be a huge problem for all commuters and proprietors in the area,� said Arnav Kashyap, a daily commuter.
Similar concerns were shared by micro-entrepreneurs and proprietors in and around the construction site. One such micro-entrepreneur engaged in fast food business said, �I have faced significant customer shortage. People like me earn on a daily basis. What we sell in a day is what we earn and consume. With a shortage of customers, I am planning to relocate to a different area. It does not matter to me even if the flyover is made in a month, because I will still lose money.�
Prachurjya Phukan, a frequent passerby along the area, said that while the aim was to reduce congestion in the area, the process was only creating more problems.
�People are not being able to even walk or cross the road due to the mud on the street. Cars and bikes are forced to drive through a single narrow lane, full of dust, which is severely polluting the area. There are norms for minimising such hazards during construction, but apparently these crucial aspects are not being taken care of,� he said.
However, Talukdar asserts that the outcome is of greater importance and the temporary hurdles and pains are directed towards reducing traffic congestion, a perennial constraint plaguing the intersection.
�No doubt there are hurdles that slow down work, but still all related departments are coordinating for a successful completion of the project. I can say that the project will be finished well before the due date,� he added.