Agartala to get first flyover

CM lays foundation stone, work to be completed in 30 months

By Our Special Correspondent in Agartala
  • Published 30.05.15

Agartala, May 29: Agartala, Tripura's 177-year-old capital, is all set to have its first flyover.

Chief minister Manik Sarkar yesterday laid the foundation stone of the 2.25km flyover, which will stretch from the police line in southern Agartala to fire brigade chowmuhuni (square) in the heart of the city.

Addressing the gathering, Sarkar said the two-lane flyover would have a width of 8m and the cost of its construction would be Rs 250 crore, at the current prices. The flyover will be completed in 30 months.

"The project has gone to Hyderabad-based Nagarjuna Construction Company Limited through a national tender. Since they are already engaged in advanced construction work in Agartala like the NIT, we hope the work will be completed in time," Sarkar said.

Referring to the spurt in the state's population (an estimated 38 lakh) and the "phenomenal" increase in the number of vehicles, Sarkar said: "At present there are 3.20 lakh motor vehicles of various categories in the state and parking has become a major problem in the state capital. The rush of people to Agartala is also difficult to tackle unless we have smooth movement of people and vehicles. We have responded by deciding to launch this flyover which will branch out towards the right of Melarmath area from Battala market."

The chief minister recalled his childhood days when Agartala was a sleepy semi-urban centre with few vehicles and people on the roads.

Urban development minister Manik Dey and Agartala Municipal Council chairperson Prafullajit Sinha also spoke at the programme.

Tripura's renowned historian and numismatist Jawahar Acharjee, recalling the history of Agartala, said the city had been launched as the state's new capital by king Krishna Kishore Manikya (1830-1849) in 1938.

While on a hunting expedition, the king had been charmed by the lush green landscape, marshy land and transparent waterscape of Agartala and decided to shift his capital from Puran Haveli, 8km east of the town, to Agartala. Acharjee said the capital got its name from the abundance of agar trees in and around it. The trees have long gone but the town has flourished.

Tripura's last king, Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya (1923-1947), who had visited Europe and America twice, had planned the capital town on the model of European cities but the partition of the country, influx of refugees from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and the king's premature death in May 1947 turned the concept topsy turvy and Agartala grew in an unplanned manner.

Acharjee also quoted historical records and statistical data to say that when king Krishna Kishore Manikya established Agartala as his capital in 1838, it had a territory of three square km and a population of 500. The sprawling town is now spread over 76 square km with a population of over 5.30 lakh, including residents of extended areas.