GUWAHATI: In a major development for the roadways in Northeast India, the NHAI (National Highways Authority of India) has moved to upgrade the existing four-lane NH (National Highway) to a six-lane one in the gateway to the NE — Guwahati.
The estimated project cost is Rs 356.02 crore. It will also have four flyovers besides a 'vehicular underpass'. This ambitious key roadway project is slated to streamline the perennial traffic logjam encountered along the Jalubari Chariali area to Bashishta Chariali. After completion of this project, it will provide a major boost to the roadway connectivity of the strategic NER (North Eastern Region).
The New Delhi HQs (headquarters) of NHAI is presently examining the tender-evaluation process. A total of 10 construction agencies participated in the tendering move, informed NHAI sources.
Earlier in 2017, the NHAI had appointed the DPR (Detailed Project Report) consultancy agency. However, there was a slight delay in the implementation of this crucial NH project in NE following a puzzling scenario as to who will be the implementing agency — the NHAI or the NHIDCL (National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited).
It has been learnt that the matter remained pending for a few years. Significantly, the NHIDCL is presently involved in several Central government projects related to the national highways in Assam in particular and the NER in general.
Following the nod from the Union government, the responsibility of implementing this crucial six-lane NH project in Guwahati to the NHAI.
Meanwhile, NHAI sources informed The Sentinel, "In phase-I, the entire stretch from Jalukbari to Basistha Chariali (in Guwahati) will be upgraded to a six-lane one. This stretch will also have four six-lane flyovers at Boragaon, Gorchuk, Lokhra, and Basistha Chariali.
"Moreover, the project also envisages a 'vehicular underpass' at the Beharbari point in Guwahati. This has been planned to streamline the massive traffic congestion particularly identified at this point."
Mentionably, an 'overpass' is a section of a road or path that is over an obstacle — especially another road etc; while an 'underpass' is a road or a pedestrian passage in a tunnel that runs underneath a road or railroad.
"Besides the six-lane NH project, there will also be 'service roads' along the entire National Highways in the Guwahati portion."
The NHAI top official added, "The project will be implemented in the EPC (Engineering Procurement & Construction) mode. The mission is expected to be completed in 30 months. The NHAI is looking forward to the commencement of this ambitious key NE HW project in the earlier part of 2022."
The NHAI is an autonomous nodal agency of the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways. It was set up in 1995. It is responsible for the management of a network of thousands of kilometres of National Highways across the country.