GUWAHATI, Sept 15 - The Assam State PWD has issued �Letter of Allotment of Work� for three of the road overbridges (ROBs), which it will construct on a cost-sharing basis as per an agreement with the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR).
Speaking to The Assam Tribune, Chief Public Relations Officer of NFR Subhanan Chanda said another six ROBs are also in the pipeline under the project.
�Recently, the Assam government has agreed to construct nine ROBs on a cost-sharing basis with NFR. These ROBs will be constructed at Panikhaiti (in Guwahati), Rangapara, Basugaon, Lanka, Lumding, Tinsukia, Naharkatiya, Nalbari and Jorhat. All these ROBs will be constructed fully by State PWD on a single entity basis. Railways will share its portion of the total cost accordingly,� Chanda said.
�Letter of Allotment of Work has already been issued by the Assam PWD in case of three of the ROBs. The remaining six are also in the pipeline and will be awarded in due course of time by the State PWD,� Chanda added.
�Letter of Acceptance� has been placed by PWD (Roads) for the three ROBs at Rangapara, Basugaon and Lanka.
The CPRO said the State government has initiated preparation of the detailed project report for another 16 ROBs.
�In addition, 41 busy level-crossing (LC) gates will also be covered for conversion into ROBs in a phased manner. It has been agreed to �in principle� that all these ROBs will be built on a cost-sharing basis and corresponding level-crossing gates will be closed,� he said.
Work on some of the ROBs will be fully executed by the State PWD, while in case of some others, the work will be undertaken by the Railways.
�Action to take up several ROBs at LC locations having train vehicle unit (TVU) of more than one lakh will be expedited after joint verification for the feasibility of construction of such structures,� Chanda said.
TVU is multiplication of �number of train units� by the �number of road vehicle units� passing through an LC crossing in 24 hours.
It is noteworthy that NFR has a great deal of expertise in the construction of road overbridges. During the last three years, the zone has, on its own, constructed six ROBs in Assam, besides 37 others in Tripura, eight in West Bengal and one in Mizoram.
�In the current year, we plan to construct 11 ROBs. Next year also, a good number of ROBs are planned to be constructed. New ROBs are considered by Railways against the closure of LC gates only. Very busy LC gates are only taken into consideration. Availability of land for approaches, the feasibility of removal of encroachment, the feasibility of connectivity to existing roads, among other things, are primarily examined before taking any decision to construct ROBs,� Chanda said.
Indian Railways shares 50 per cent of the cost of new ROB if the concerned State government agrees to share the balance amount in those busy LC gates where the train-vehicle unit is more than one lakh and also in some very busy gates which are frequently closed for road users due to shunting operations on account of being located at close proximity to big station yards.