When'll ageing Saraighat Bridge be renovated? Bridge has growth of tall herbs in either of its sides
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Aug 11: Who will stop the rot – the Old Saraighat Bridge across the Brahmaputra in Guwahati is crumbling due to lack of proper upkeep? The bridge, opened to traffic in April 1962, is ageing.
News was doing rounds in the State that ‘the Old Bridge will be renovated once the New Bridge is commissioned’. The new Saraighat Bridge was commissioned by Union Road Transport and tiol Highway Minister Nitin Gadkari on January 29, 2017. It was also said that during its renovation the old bridge would remain closed for vehicular traffic. Over half-a-year has elapsed but no steps have so far been taken to renovate the old bridge. Who will do the job to protect the bridge that is crumbling? The condition of the old bridge is pathetic – it has some big craters that may spell doom for vehicles plying over it, someday. The craters have just been covered with some plates, but it is no safe remedy. Rather such plates may lead to fatal accidents as there is every reason of the craters growing in their areas. The growth of tall herbs on either side of the bridge speaks volumes of the very quality of upkeep the State’s first road-cum-rail bridge across the Brahmaputra has all along been receiving. One may simply be baffled as to how grass has grown on a concrete bridge? This is quite possible as dust particles get accumulated on either side of the bridge. The accumulation of sand on the bridge has given rise to growth of herbs on it.
Since it is a road-cum-rail bridge the onus of its upkeep lies with both NF Railway and tiol Highway Authority of India (NHAI). However, an understanding has been reached between NF Railway and NHAI. According to the agreement, the NHAI pays an amount for the upkeep of the bridge to NF Railway that takes up the repair work.
When contacted, NHAI officials told this reporter that it had already paid its share of Rs 13 crore for the repair of the bridge to NF Railway. They, however, exuded their ignorance as to when the bridge would be renovated.
Will NF Railway do the job with the right earnestness now and when will it get the bridge renovated? These are some questions can be responded by none other than NF Railway.