GUWAHATI, Aug 24 - The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is planning to increase the width of the Guwahati bypass by turning it into a six-lane highway and a detailed project report for the same is being prepared.
Official sources told The Assam Tribune that expansion of the bypass would considerably ease the traffic congestion all along the 18-kilometre bypass. At present, the congestion has a cascading effect, which sometimes runs up to Jalukbari and Bashitha points. Sources said that as part of the proposal, the new road would have flyovers at major junctions, which would ensure free flow of traffic.
The NHAI has sanctioned Rs 71.98 crore to the State Public Works Department for construction of an RCC stormwater drain between Khanapara and the Inter State Bus Terminal covering a length of of 6.80 kilometres and improvement of the service roads of the bypass.
Sources revealed that the money was sanctioned to the State PWD way back in December 2015, but unfortunately, progress of the work has been very slow. The PWD has been directed to expedite the work so that it is completed before the FIFA under 17 World Cup.
Sources pointed out that the stormwater drain when completed, would ease the waterlogging problem on the Guwahati bypass to a great extent. At present, the bypass often gets blocked after a heavy spell of rain and sometimes, even movement of vehicular traffic is stopped. After the drain is completed, water from the area would be drained out to the Deepor Beel. Moreover, the service roads of the bypass are in very bad shape and they need immediate repair and reconstruction. If the work is not completed before the mega football tournament, it may lead to serious problems and hence the PWD ought to expedite the work.
On the other hand, the old Saraighat bridge needs immediate repair as very often top portions of the road get damaged, leading to traffic congestions. The NHAI has sanctioned Rs. 1.91 crore and Rs 11.83 crore respectively to the Railways for short-term and long-term maintenance of the existing Saraighat bridge. The proposal for funds for short and long-term maintenance and repair of the bridge was submitted by the Railways to the Government of India and the funds were sanctioned as per that proposal.
The Railways was supposed to start work immediately after the new bridge was opened. But the progress of work remains very slow and the Railways authorities have been requested to expedite the work as smooth movement of traffic on both the new and old bridges is vital to ensure that no congestion takes place there.