The much-awaited Nilachal Flyover in Guwahati’s Maligaon was inaugurated on August 30 by Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to alleviate the traffic woes of the commuters but little did they know of bigger issues that were to come.
Within a month of its inauguration, the residents and commuters started to face numerous problems including accidents.
Amid the prevailing power crisis, the Nilachal flyover in Guwahati’s Maligaon area has been illuminated during the daytime using street lights, raising questions about the competency of the authorities in managing essential services during challenging times.
The ongoing power crisis has placed immense strain on the city's infrastructure, leading to intermittent blackouts and electricity shortages. In response, the authorities in Maligaon opted to keep the street lights atop the Nilachal Flyover turned on even during daylight.
The responsibility of turning the street lights on and off is taken by the electrical division under Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC), however, the lights atop the flyover and on the main road were noticed to be kept on during the daytime on Monday and Tuesday.
This raises concern over the power crisis faced by the residents of the state due to the shortage of electricity supply.
Despite several awareness programme on the conservation of energy, the authorities do not seem to bother about implementing themselves as these street lights are installed for the safety of the people during the night.
A female resident of Maligaon speaking to Pratidin Time Digital said, “If these street lights are turned on even during the daylight, then it is likely that the lights will get fused very soon. We are already starting the face issues like accidents, drunkards making scenes and amid these, if the lights get burned out, it will become even more unsafe for us to commute during the dark hours.”
Following the inauguration of the much-awaited flyover, the residents of the area and commuters have been facing numerous issues including deadly accidents, drunkards making scenes and others.
Speaking on the recent accidents, a few concerned residents raised concern over the installation of improper speed breakers atop the flyover and the connecting lane on the main road.
One said, “The speed breakers installed atop the flyover are not suitable for the two-wheelers especially. With the inauguration of the flyover, we were happy it would lessen our traffic woes however we were unaware of the fact it may also create more problems. As far as I know, I feel at least three to four accidents have been reported in this flyover in the past month since its inauguration.”
Meanwhile, one commuter asserted that there is no speed breaker sign on the flyover that could alert the drivers who were traveling for the first time through that flyover.
Furthermore, the troubles of the people do not seem to end here as on several occasions there were complaints over a few youths making the flyover a ‘liquor adda’ where they would meet and consume alcohol. This raised concerns among the female commuters who travel through the flyover at night from work. As it is a 2.6km flyover, it might become difficult for them to escape if they encounter any untoward situation.
A working woman said, “I get off work around 7 pm to head home from Christian Basti when I travel through that flyover on my two-wheeler. Although it is filled with street lights, I somehow feel unsafe due to some youths who hang out atop the flyover. After a few days, I opted to travel through the main road to avoid any untoward situation. But what about those who came for the first time as they are not aware of these situations? I strongly feel that the manpower of traffic police should be increased for night patrolling on the flyover and CCTVs should be installed.”
Despite several media reports on these incidents, no strict action or measures are being taken by the concerned authorities.
There is a history or sayings among the general public that goes by “Authorities only move their body when something big and outrageous occurs.” This was evident on numerous occasions with the recent one in Ganeshguri where a school student had to sacrifice her life to awaken the authorities to take note of the pothole dugs on the roads without any safety measures.
With this being said will the authorities move their bodies only after something big and dangerous happens or will implement ‘prevention is better than cure’?