By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Feb 10: Construction, blacktopping and renovation of a number of roads in West Guwahati, including some important ones, are far from being completed. While they are certainly down the line, the monsoon is knocking the door.
The residents of West Guwahati LAC are a worried lot as they do not see any possibility of immediate completion of construction, blacktopping and renovation of a number of roads, the works of which are going on now. If some stretches of the roads are yet to get approval from the administration, some others are still to get forest clearance. There are other problems as well. The State Forest Department is not in a position to hand over lands to the PWD because of hurdles of all hues.
Only 14.75 km of the around 33-km Koidhora-Borjhar Airport Road has been blacktopped as of now. In phase I a stretch of only 2.5 km was blacktopped, followed by 7.5 km in phase II, 58 per cent of a stretch of 6.15 km taken in phase III and 25 per cent on a stretch of 6 km taken up in phase IV. The situation is very complicated in phases III and IV of the road as land acquisition and handing over of land by the State Forest Department have not been done as yet. If the problem of land acquisition from the Forest Department can be solved right now, it will not take less than six months to complete phase III, and not less than a year to complete phase IV. However, the works of 5.85 km of phase V (last phase) of the road is still to get administrative approval.
The 21-km Lokhara-Jaluk Paham Road via Garhbhanga is still to be started even after fincial approval of Rs 22.42 crore for it. The major hurdle is the forest and environment clearance. It seems the relevant departments have not been working in sync with one another. If it gets forest clearance now, it will not take less than two years to complete.
All these came to the fore when West Guwahati MLA RN Kalita raised a question on the floor of the Assembly recently on the progress of roads under construction and renovation in his constituency. According to PWD Minister Parimal Shuklabaidya, the status of other roads in West Guwahati LAC is – only 1.20 km of the 5-km Kaklata Path is nearing completion under the Mukhya Mantrir Poki Path Nirman Asoni, 2013-14. In fiscal 2014-15, under Plan head only 40 per cent of a 2 km stretch of the road has been progressing. No scheme has been drawn as yet for the remaining 1.80 km stretch of the road. While the works currently underway under the Mukhya Mantrir Poki Path Nirman Asoni, 2013-14 will be over by February 28, 2017, the two-km work currently underway under the Plan head is going to be completed by March 31 this year.
The work of the Maligaon Gousala-East Boragaon road that connects it to NH-37 via Gakhir Chowk is underway at a sluggish pace, needing the issuance of a notice to the contractor.