GUWAHATI, March 16 - Voluntary organisation Save Guwahati Build Guwahati (SGBG) today appealed to the State government to press into service the new Roll-on/roll-off (RO-RO) vessel it has introduced between Guwahati and North Guwahati, for easing out the traffic congestion faced by the people while crossing the new Saraighat Bridge over the Brahmaputra these days.
It needs mention here that the New Saraighat Bridge will be bearing the entire load of vehicular traffic travelling between Guwahati and north bank destinations for a period of 90 days with effect from March 14, because of the total restriction imposed on vehicular movement for the said period on the old Saraighat Bridge, which is under renovation.
RO-RO vessels are meant for carrying wheeled cargo – cars, trucks, etc. These vessels are loaded and unloaded by means of built-in ramps. The State Inland Waterways Transport Department (IWTD) recently introduced a RO-RO vessel to its fleet of vessels on the Brahmaputra in the Guwahati-North Guwahati sector.
SGBG president Krishno Kanto Borooah told The Assam Tribune that since March 14, commuters travelling between Guwahati and north bank destinations have been facing immense hardship because of the restrictions imposed on the movement of vehicles on the old Saraighat Bridge. It has been learnt from many people that they had to spend an additional time of 40-50 minutes to cross the new Saraighat Bridge.
The new Saraighat Bridge is a three-lane one. It was opened for vehicular movement about three years back. But since its inauguration, the number of vehicles travelling between Guwahati and north bank destinations has gone up three-fold. This is because of the fact that people travelling between Guwahati and north bank destinations now prefer their own vehicles to those of the public transport system. Moreover, the number of vehicles in the public transport system, in both public and private sectors, has also gone up significantly.
Under such a situation, the SGBG requested the State government to press into service the RO-RO vessel between Guwahati and Amingaon to carry small vehicles to and from the city, at an interval of one hour, from 6 am to 8 pm, to reduce the load of automobiles on the new Saraighat Bridge, which is expected to improve the traffic situation on both ends of the bridge significantly.
The SGBG is also requesting the people travelling between Guwahati and north bank destinations to use the public transport system for the 90-day period, Borooah said.