Ward Watch: Traffic menace at R.G. Baruah road continues after converted to No-Parking Zone
GUWAHATI: A stretch of about 4 km from Gauhati Commerce College to Ganeshguri Chariali that runs through three Guwahati Municipal Corporation wards of the city – Ward no 19, 20 and 21 – has made commute a nightmare for almost the entire city.
The stretch of the R.G. Baruah Road popularly known as Zoo Road connects major arteries of the city such as Chandmari, Rajgarh, Geetanagar, Tarun Nagar and the G.S. Road via Ganeshguri. Traffic congestions begins here from 9 am in the morning and lasts till 10.30 - 11 pm at night, commuters said.
“Every time I have to commute through this area, I always plan to keep an extra half hour in my hand because I am sure that I will get stuck in a traffic jam and invariably, it is more than half hour that I remain stuck here,” Jayanta Hazarika, a resident of Chandmari who often has to take this road to travel to G.S. Road, said.
While the average speed along this stretch during peak hours remains confined within 15-30 kms per hour, major congestion is noticed at the three traffic points – Gauhati Commerce College point, Zoo Tiniali and Ganeshguri Chariali.
“While there is an automatic traffic signal installed near the Commerce point, the Zoo Tiniali and the Ganeshguri Tiniali are manually managed. The standard time for halting at the automatic signals is around 30 seconds, 60 seconds and 120 seconds depending on the traffic flow. This time period is not enough and hence, even after getting halted at those signals, cars tend to crowd near Zoo Tiniali point where we manually have to halt vehicles for more than three to 5 minutes. This has a cascading effect on the movement of the vehicles,” Hitesh Deka, a traffic personnel appointed at Zoo Tiniali said.
A major addition to the traffic woes, is also the illegal parking of vehicles along the stretch of the road, which has seen a boom of commercialisation with new shops thronging every other day.
“While the residential areas are in the by-lanes, new shops have been opened along the road which attract a lot of people. However, most of those shops don’t have parking facilities and people just park their vehicles along the road. Traffic jams are caused here most of the times by these illegally parked vehicles. It has not changed even after the Guwahati Traffic Police (GTP) had made this stretch a no-parking zone,” Debabrata Sarma, a resident at Rajgarh said.
For this stretch of 4 km, there is a multi-storeyed parking facility recently inaugurated near the Shradhanjali Kanan, but it is not used by people who choose to travel beyond Junali.
All the councillors – Ranjit Barman of Ward 19, Anima Deka of Ward 20 and Sashanka Jyoti Deka of Ward 21 – had appeased the traffic department regarding the same, but the traffic menace remained unchanged.
“This stretch has been made a no-parking zone. There are ample traffic personnel appointed at the traffic points and along the areas with high congestion propensity and yet, the menace remains. Most of the times, it is due to people’s negligence,” a senior police official at GTP said.
New drain balm for water logging woes at RG Baruah Road
Monsoon is almost over and the otherwise water-logging prone RG Baruah road has not received a single instance of prolonged water logging this year, thanks to the newly constructed drain by the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA)
There were instances of water logging at three or four occasions on this road, but the water receded as fast as it had risen.
“Earlier, not just the road, but the low--lying areas of Rajgarh, Nabin Nagar, Anil Nagar used to remain inundated under flash floods as the water spilled from the overburdened Bharalu. But this year, the water level of Bharalu did not rise to a chronic level, due to which, even though there was a brief period of water logging from the water that came down from the hills, it got channelled out,” Ranjit Barman, Councillor of Ward 19, said.
While majority of the credit goes to decommissioning of the Noonmati Drainage system by GMDA, one of the main civic bodies executing various projects to curb waterlogging, de-siltation drives taken by GMDA, Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) and Public Works Department (PWD) also shares a part of the credit.
“The Nabin Nagar and Anil Nagar area act as a natural basin for the city where, water from Jyotinagar and Sunsali Hills flow in via the Noonmati, Bamunimaidam and Zoo Road inundating those areas too. The Bharalu River thus gets overloaded and causes floods. We have diverted that water through the drain which will be channelled directly to the Brahmaputra through Bonda Jan area,” Debajit Das, chief engineer of GMDA told G Plus here
The about Rs. 35 Crore worth drainage system that was proposed in 2013 is about 5 km long and was built in two phases – Rs. 18 Crore in the first and Rs. 17 Crore in the second. The width of the drain is 6 metres and the depth varies from 3 metres to 5.50 metres (including foundation depth). The drain has been constructed with RCC framed structure as per the requirement of the railway department as it is constructed on railway land. A pump has also been installed to pump out the water which has a capacity of 4000 litres per second.
“The pump capacity right now is enough to draw out the water coming down from the hills as evident from the lack of flash-floods this year. As the load increases in the coming days, we will increase the pump capacity as and when required,” Das added.
This comes as a breather for those living in Zoo Road, Nabin Nagar, Anil Nagar areas, as these areas were inundated under flood waters for 12-24 hours in last year’s monsoon.
“It is about end of August, and we have almost reached to the end of the monsoon. But there were no major flash-flood woes in the city. It happened in a few selected areas, but the water receded within half an hour, which is quite impressive as compared to the past few years,” Dwipen Deka, a resident of Jonali area, said.
Deka’s residence, last year was inundated under water which had over-flown from the Bharalu River for almost 12 hours damaging his furniture and books on the ground floor.