By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Jan 15: Gamon India has put a dampener on the Uruka (January 13) this year for a large section of people who have to go via Saraighat bridge to reach their respective homes. So much so that a pregnt woman died, allegedly not being able to be taken to the hospital. The vehicle she was travelling in was stranded in a traffic jam.
Gamon India has been constructing the bridge over the Brahmaputra, parallel to the Saraighat Bridge at Jalukbari , since 2006. The bridge was origilly scheduled to be completed by 2010. However, the company failed to meet the schedule during the Congress government. The Congress government did put pressure on the construction company for the early completion of the bridge, but to little avail. The bridge under construction is part of the East-West Corridor.
After coming to power, the Sarbanda Sonowal-led BJP government set the deadline of September 2016 for the completion of the bridge. The deadline was set after the Chief Minister paying a visit to the site. However, the company failed to meet the deadline.
Dispur then announced that the bridge would be iugurated on January 1, 2017. However, the company failed to complete the work hundred per cent. The government then took a decision not to iugurate the bridge on January 1 as Poush is considered as an ominous month in Assamese culture.
The repeated failure on the part of Gamon India to meet the deadlines set for the completion of the bridge was badly felt on January 13, 2017 when people bound for their respective tive places had to remain stranded for hours. The lone Saraighat bridge was not at all in a position to clear the rush of vehicles to and from the city. According to eyewitness accounts, it took nearly two hours for one to reach Jalukbari from Maligaon, and it took around three hours just to cross the bridge. Thousands of home-bound passengers had to remain stranded on vehicles till late night. The situation spelt doom the joyous of Uruka. When the situation was beyond control, the authority had to open the new bridge parallel to the Saraighat for a few hours till midnight to clear the rush, risking life and limb. The outcome of the decision is that at some spots on the yet-to-be opened bridge bitumen seems to have come out.
There are reports that a pregnt woman died, allegedly because she could not be taken to the hospital on time due to the unprecedented traffic jam.