GUWAHATI: Assam PWD minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today indicated that it is time the capital city Guwahati brace for more traffic congestion and parking space crunch.
Inaugurating three more foot-overbridges in different parts of the city, the minister said the government has instructed the enforcement authorities not to allow parking up to 200 metre on either sides of the foot-overbridges.
Pointed out that the new foot-overbridges have narrowed down the roads on busy roads causing traffic congestions at different locations, Sarma said: “We took that aspect into consideration while building the structures. The bridges have been constructed at locations where there were parking space on both sides of the road. The space occupied by the feet of the bridges are exactly what it takes for parking vehicles on the road sides. So, I don’t think it would cause traffic congestion.
“Besides, we should pay more attention for movement of pedestrians like they do in the western countries. Vehicles will anyway make their way.”
His views were apparently based on roads lined up for VIP movement. Every new foot-overbridge has led to traffic congestion on either sides after the roads were narrowed down to nearly half the size. He also appeared to be purposefully overlooked the encroachment of the pavements by street vendors making them difficult for pedestrians to walk on.
The minister also said the government would build three more foot-overbridges on RG Baruah Road. The city has already got nine new foot-overbridges ahead of the elections.
Asked about maintenance of the foot-overbridges, Sarma said: “The bridges will earn for themselves when we allow putting up promotional advertisements on the structures. Infact, the earnings would be surplus.”
The bridges have elevators and lights which would require maintenance and electricity expenses. The bridges, which are rather outsmarting the city, are being constructed with funds under the smart city project.
Lack of such facilities has left four such bridges built earlier in front of Secretariat in Dispur, Sukreshwar Temple at Panbazar, Maligaon and Lachit Nagar rarely used by pedestrians. Those bridged are currently used mostly by the vagabonds and anti-socials after dusk.