Old Lakhtokia bridge to be demolished
Guwahati: The Guwahati Railway Station plays an important role in terms of the connectivity of the entire North Eastern Region. Although this railway station handles a considerably high passenger footfall on a daily basis, it lacks some of the necessary infrastructure to handle the same. To that end, the Railways Department has planned to expand and redevelop the entire railway station into a world-class station with an expenditure of Rs 400 crore. The revamp will include the demolition of the old Lakhtokia bridge.
It must be noted that although most of the trains now have a total of 26 coaches, as per the current infrastructure, only 2-3 platforms of the Guwahati Railway Station have the capacity to accommodate the same, causing several problems in accommodating the trains. Another key issue is the lack of ample parking and entry/exit facilities at the station, leading to massive congestion on one platform. Other problems include the risk factors of the power lines because of the old flyover.
The department has planned to expand the Guwahati Railway Station to accommodate new platforms and other services. For that purpose, the land of the bus stand in Paltan Bazar has already been handed over to the Railways Department. However, work is yet to begin on the proposed upgrade and beautification of the station.
It must also be mentioned that all railway flyovers constructed after 2004 have the necessary requirements for broad-gauge lines passing underneath. However, the existing old Lakhtokia flyover was constructed over 40 years ago and has several constraints. Also, over the years, multiple utility services, including water, power, etc., have piggybacked their cables and pipes on the old flyover. So even though the tendering process for a new flyover to replace the old one was completed last year, the authorities could not initiate the demolition of the existing flyover. It has now been mentioned that the officials for the railways are now in talks with the departments concerned about relocating these services so that work can begin on the proposed project.
It must be noted that the demolition of the existing flyover is essential for the setting up of the necessary overhead electrical lines.