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Major progress unlikely in Rajgarh Road expansion project this year
MAMATA MISHRA

The Rajgarh Road as seen on Monday. – Photo: Samarendra Sarma
 GUWAHATI, Aug 27 - Facing one hurdle after another since its inception, the much awaited Rajgarh Road expansion project is unlikely to see any major progress within this year. Much to the chagrin of the commuters, the water supply pipe laying and electric pole relocation works are trapped in the administrative catacomb, causing a discomforting delay.

The Rajgarh Road works as a major link between the city’s two main arteries – the GS Road on one side and the MRD-GNB Road on the other. After remaining in a dilapidated condition for nearly a decade, the expansion project was taken up on this road from Chandmari to Bhangagarh in two phases by the State Public Works Department.

“Other than being a major link between Chandmari and Bhangagarh, the road is an unavoidable route for the people of the Chandmari-Rajgarh side to reach the Guwahati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH). However, the patients are sure to get a bumpy and uncomfortable ride on this route,” said Chandan Deka, a septuagenarian of Chandmari who has to take this route for regular medical check-ups at the GMCH.

The locals also complained that the widening work of the road is conspicuously uneven and the road seems tapering at several stretches, mostly towards the Bhangagarh side.

According to the sources, the State government recently cleared a sum of Rs 82 lakh for payment to the APDCL to shift the electricity poles. The tendering process, however, would begin from next month and the entire work would take another couple of months to complete.

At present, the PWD City Division III has been looking after the expansion, repair and widening of the 2066-metre long road. The project cost of widening the entire stretch is Rs 8.18 crore.

When asked about the cause of the delay, the PWD sources said that the department was not able to make payment for the electric pole shifting from the road all this while. “The pole shifting was mandatory as this project involves widening of the road. The APDCL has already been given the money and only after the poles are shifted we would be able to engage our contractors,” the sources added.

Other than expansion, the project also involves construction of a major drain and footpath.

On the other hand, the delay in water supply project pipe-laying work by the Gamon India Limited is another reason behind the delay. In a recent meeting with the State government departments concerned, the company was asked to expedite the work, which seems to be moving at a snail’s pace.

“Though the benefits of water supply project are yet to be seen, for years we have been facing the inconvenience caused by it. The digging up of the newly constructed stretch of Rajgarh Road has aggravated the problem for the locals of the area. On every other day, a new stretch of lanes and bylanes is dug up, blocking the entry and exit points into these lanes,” a local of Pub Sarania area complained.

Also, raising objection to the PWD’s negligence towards the steep edges of the road, several residents complained that the road has become more accident-prone as it has very sharp and steep edges, making the road several inches higher than the roadside.

“The road widening project is clubbed with drain and footpath construction and the surface has been designed accordingly. The surface would match the rest of the structure once the entire project is complete,” argued departmental sources.

“Despite being a prime locality, the Rajgarh area has been facing neglect and dilapidation over the years. The distraught residents now want the State authorities to monitor and complete the project with all seriousness, without causing such delays and discomfort to the locals as well as commuters,” Haren Chandra Goswami, a senior citizen of the locality, stated.

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