Metro rail blips on Dispur radar

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By Staff Reporter
  • Published 13.02.09

Feb. 13: Metro rail seems an ideal but far-fetched dream to ease the pressure on the city’s congested roads.

It might, however, become a reality in the near future with Dispur ordering a feasibility study for a metro rail project.

Making the announcement today, Guwahati development department (GDD) minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the government had undertaken the move as part of its effort to improve the city’s public transport system and ease traffic congestion.

“Faced with increasing traffic pressure, we are exploring ways to improve the public transport system. We are engaging a reputed professional consultancy firm to prepare the project concept paper and conduct the study,” he said.

The survey of the proposed project will include preliminary exercises such as a study of the number of commuters in different areas of the city at different times of the day and a calculation of the estimated cost of the project.

Sarma, however, did not say how long it would take to complete the survey.

He said the GDD had released Rs 100 crore to the public works department (PWD) for improvement of roads and bylanes besides construction of roadside drains.

In order to improve the traffic flow, the government has laid emphasis on widening of existing roads, construction of new roads, flyovers, rotaries and multi-level parking lots.

The PWD has already started the construction of a 28km-long road from Koinadhara near Khanapara to Borjhar.

For commuters from the Khanapara side, this road will be a short cut to Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport as they will not have to take a detour through the National Highway bypass to reach the airport.

Sarma said these measures were required because Guwahati was an unplanned and congested city.

Underscoring the seriousness of the problem, PWD minister Ajanta Neog said according to a conservative estimate, 1.25 lakh vehicles plied on the city’s roads everyday.

“On an average, 10 accidents happen in the city each day, which itself speaks about the severity of the problem,” she added.

Sarma blamed the growing traffic chaos on a steady rise in the number of vehicles and deficiencies in the designing of some traffic intersections and the two flyovers at Ulubari and Ganeshguri, such as the absence of arms.