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EDITORIAL

Saraighat bridge context

Commuters of the past who are used to commute now also along the Saraighat bridge(s) are often seen talking about the nostalgic traffic srls on the Saraighat bridge of the past. Thanks are due to all those who had been associated with the new bridge, right from its conceptualization to completion even as some quarters (politicians and their sycophants) were seen in blame games for the delay in completion of the bridge and also for delayed opening of the bridge for traffic vis-à-vis untold miseries of the people. Traffic magers as well as past commuters also deserve no fewer thanks for bearing tremendous inconveniences with patience during the entire gestation period of the said bridge project spanning for about a decade with unexpected delays.  

However, of late, an issue concerning some appurtent structures of the bridge project warrants an address by the authority concerned. The other day the author was travelling to Rangia by driving his car from the Maligaon end. The moment I tried to negotiate the road bend just after crossing the railway over bridge (erstwhile DUNLOP Bridge) followed by the flyover, I noticed an overhead road sign which says that the distance from this place to Rangia is 46 K.M. After negotiating about 200 metre on the road curve, I could see another over head road sign on the parallel lane on the right side of mine, to have told obviously the commuters coming from the Bashistha side that distance to Rangia from this point is 46 K.M. At this place both the two roads merge to lead the road users to the Saraighat bridge. After crossing a road stretch of about 300 metre, a road sign was noticed on the left to have indicated that the bridge lies at a distance of 500 metre ahead, followed by another road sign at a distance of 300 metre only to suggest that the commuters will reach the bridge at 200 metre ahead. Just before the bridge proper, there lies another over head road sign that suggests that distance to Rangia from this point is 46 K.M. On reaching the north bank of the Brahmaputra, another over head road sign is noticed near the road junction to Kamrup DC’s office that tells the road users that the distance from that place to Rangia is 36 K.M. But, I noticed the milometer of my car to have measured 4 K.M. plus and not 10 K.M. as suggested by the said road sign for the distance covered between the first over head road sign to the last one in reference. Incidentally, in my itinerary that day I was flanked in the car by two elderly civil engineers, one of them being a former Adviser of NEC who is of 76 years and is presently lending his expert services to the T & C (Transport and Communication) sector of the region through a private service portal to uphold his professiol commitment to the society even after his retirement on superannuation.  I had asked them if they could help me in removing my confusion over the issue. Both of them got amused and regretted their ibility to quench my thirst.

Later, the issue of the over head road signs talked about was volleyed before a school for their comments. The school got divided to suggest two diverse views to entertain the road users. First view: It is a case of ‘copy pastes’. Second view: a manifestation of ‘garkaptani xahitya’! Given the views of the school, esteemed readers may kindly draw their own inferences to address the emerging issues of the kind!

Niranjan Kakati,
Guwahati.

About the author

Ankur Kalita