Foot-Over Bridge Construction Across Guwahati Creates Massive Traffic Woes | Guwahati News

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Foot-Over Bridge Construction Across Guwahati Creates Massive Traffic Woes

Nibir Deka | November 15, 2020 13:05 hrs

The foot over bridge construction activity on the GS Road stretch of Guwahati has caused a lot of woes for the daily commuters. Heavy traffic jams can be seen in the peripheries of the construction site every day.  


Currently, there are two constructions going on around the Ganeshguri flyover vicinity: one before the Post Office signal and the other in front of JBs Sweets.
  


As such, travelling on GS Road has become a major hindrance to the daily commuters. "Commuting towards Khanapara has become a herculean task because of these constructions. We have to cross more than two such congested points whenever we have to visit Sonapur or Khanapara," Guwahati resident Megha Jain told G Plus.


Another issue has been the accumulated dust and sand from the concrete materials used for construction that has hindered the mobility of vehicles. “There’s so much sand on the road that whenever we ride our scooter in the area, the tyres slip with the stones and other boulders kept there,” said Rakesh Sarma, who is a media professional. 


Residents have also complained that the proposed escalators will reduce the space of the GS Road, thereby causing more traffic problems. This has affected especially the cab commuters who find it difficult to commute as the roadblocks the two-way movements of cars. “We were used to heavy traffic jams on the GS Road but now things have become worse. Even if the escalators are constructed, this will still reduce the space of the road,” said Ismail Ali, from All Assam Cab Operator’s Association. He further stated that the congestion on GS Road has limited their number of trips daily and as such drivers avoid the area. Along with that, more combustion of fuel has increased the input costs for these operators.


Another construction of a foot over the bridge has been commenced, “ironically” to reduce traffic congestion on the perennially busy stretch of the road especially during peak hours. The construction in being undertaken in front of Ganeshguri, near Bus Shed, GMDA parking, which has also resulted in narrowing down the GS Road on the Dispur (Assam Secretariat) side.


Government departments respond to the complaints


Based on the complaints thrown up from the ground, G Plus contacted officials of PWD to raise the issue of reduced road space on GS Road and the ensuing traffic. The Public Works Department (PWD) justified its decision to construct the escalator attached foot over bridge. G Plus spoke to the PWD Executive Engineer who revealed that the space utilised by the escalator has only taken up the existing parking spaces.


As for the traffic problems, the PWD stated that permission from the police was taken before the initiative. “We have done a joint verification before the construction with the police to ascertain viability,” said Hemanta Deori Bharali, Executive Engineer of PWD Roads, East Zone.  


Moreover, the Assam government has sanctioned the construction of four foot-over bridges in Guwahati. The informal estimate for the plan is set at around Rs 34 crores.


“We can’t estimate the amount directly as we spend differently on individual projects. But individually each of them will amount to around Rs 9 crores,” said Pranab Rabha, Executive Engineer PWD.


“The plans for the construction of foot-over bridges in the city started to take shape due to the construction of concrete dividers. The GMC had thus submitted proposals for the construction of 10 bridges but the higher authorities claimed that only four of those are feasible,” said the source.


Four foot-over bridges will be constructed on GS Road near Apollo Hospital, Bhangagarh Bazaar, GMDA parking and near Dona Planet.


Additionally, proposals from the chief engineer’s office to the state government have also been sent for various other foot over bridge projects at Beltola market complex, Adabari bus stand and other areas.


“We plan to make the Adabari bus stand at par with the bus stands in Ahmedabad and Vadodara. The tendering for the same has been done and development works are currently on-going,” Debajit Das, chief engineer of GMC informed G Plus.


New foot over-bridge with lifts to replace old one near Sukreswar Temple


The foot over-bridge in front of the historic Sukreswar Temple at MG Road, Guwahati was demolished by the PWD as well.  While Guwahatians have been speculating about the sudden demolishing of this bridge, PWD officials informed that the old structure is being taken down to make way for the construction of a new foot over-bridge in its place. 


Hemanta Deori Bharali, Executive Engineer of PWD Roads, East Zone said, "The old bridge was not constructed by PWD. It had a few issues and was not much in public use. The new one is a part of the nine-foot over-bridges to be constructed across Guwahati."


The new bridge will have two lifts. Escalator facilities will not be available due to lack of adequate and proper space, he added. This was in line with PWD Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s comments. He had stated that nine-foot over bridges would be inaugurated in Guwahati together on 1st February next.


However, the move to construct escalators thereby reducing the road space has concerned even key officials within the government. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a key official stated that due planning should have been made before constructing the lift-based escalators. “In Mysore, they have big roads and that can’t just be replicated in Guwahati. The Ganeshguri one is still understandable but the Apollo Hospital foot over bridge might cause congestion unless adequate measures to offset the load are not done,” the official added. 

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