Bridge over Barak to ease traffic flow and reduce distance to Mizoram

SILCHAR, April 20: With the completion of the major bridge over river Barak at Sonabarighat, 12 km from here, the endemic traffic congestion of this town will to a great extent be eased and the distance to the capital of Mizoram, Aizawl, will be shortened. The bypass will connect the National Highways 44 as well as 53 and which again will facilitate commuting to Tripura and Manipur. The interstate bus and truck terminus at Ramnagar close to the access route to the bypass will at the same time come as a big step towards the parking of both passenger and goods vehicles, besides facilitating the embark and disembark of passengers.
Like any other projects in Barak Valley, the bypass which was mooted during the late 80’s has been put on the back-burner. It was Santosh Mohan Dev, the then Minister of State for defence, who took up the proposal of a bypass with Rajiv Gandhi, Prime Minister of the time. It was finally approved and an amount of Rs 100 crore sanctioned during the Vajpayee Government in 1999. It was to be executed by BRTF. But, administrative inertia and a land syndicate became active and created problems in land acquisition for wrongful gains.
Election time is the best time for politicians to reap political benefits. Tarun Gogoi knew the bypass would come handy to show the concern of his government and the party for the people of Barak Valley. Along with other projects and promises, he did not miss the opportunity to lay its foundation just on the eve of the Assembly elections of 2011. But, unless the bridge over Barak is completed, it can not be connected with Silchar-Aizawl highway-54. It was on April 11 last that the Chief Minister laid the foundation.
In the meantime, the estimated cost of the bridge has gone up to Rs 43.23 crore plus. The length of the bridge with six spans is 360 meter to be built by Brahmaputra Infrastructure Ltd and the executive agency is PWD (National Highway).
With thorough passage facilitation through this Rs 148.15 crore and 20.127 km by-pass, transportation of goods and materials as well commuting by people would be smoother as it would avoid the congested roads of the town.
The by-pass, it is to be reiterated, would connect NHs 44, 53 and 54 starting from Ramnagar point and terminate at Kashipur through Sonabarighat. The Rs 148.15 crore project will have one major bridge over Barak, six small bridges as well as 54 different types of culverts. It has however not been made known when it will be thrown open to traffic. But, it is expected to be completed in three years. It would then no doubt open a new vista of development as it would bring the Northeastern States of Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura and south Assam of Barak Valley closer by reducing distance and facilitating faster movement of vehicular traffic. (SentinelAssam)

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