For the best part of the last two years, the construction of the Maligaon flyover in Guwahati has grabbed headlines for both the right and the wrong reasons. Aimed at relieving the traffic congestion in the region, the massive project has ironically become the sole reason of suffering for the citizens commuting through Maligaon.
It is safe to say that every Guwahati resident has had to face the dreaded traffic jam in Maligaon at one point in their lives in the past two years, making it a subject of numerous memes shared online by millennials.
Citizens over time have accepted the nightmare of having to face the traffic congestion while passing through. Several commuters have complained of missing their flights or trains stuck in the Maligaon traffic jam. Add to it the emerging reports of patients losing their lives stuck in ambulances there and it paints a grim picture.
Amidst all this, the question that comes to everyone’s mind is when will the construction be finally over and when will Guwahati get its latest installment of architectural marvel in the flyover. Addressing people’s concern, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had announced in September that the latest in line of several flyovers built across the city will be ready by Bohag Bihu, next year.
The Assam CM was speaking at the inauguration program of the flyover at Arya Nagar where he said, “The Maligoan flyover is approximately three kilometers long. We are hoping to open it for the public after Bohag Bihu.”
With its imminent opening nearing, we went around asking the people involved in the construction works to know whether the time frame given by CM Sarma would suffice. The information we received is that work is in full swing and those involved are confident that it will be completed in time.
A construction worker told us that two construction firms are jointly working on the project with the entire project divided equally in two parts between the two firms – Shree Gautam Construction Company Limited and Anupam Nirman Pvt Ltd.
Both companies have employed close to 200 workers including both civil and mechanical graduates on the job each on the massive project, which was at first chalked to be completed within 22 months. However, the predetermined time frame was deemed too fanciful as both companies exhibited complacency during initial months.
Meanwhile, the added delay in completion has also translated into added expenditure with costs incurred rising above the initial figure of Rs 410 crores sanctioned for the project.
Nonetheless, following strict instructions from the Assam CM, workers have picked up the pace and 60 per cent of the total construction has been completed, one among them assured. At present workers in two shifts of 12 hours each from 8 am to 8 pm and vice versa are on the job round the clock, he told us.
Most of the work is done in the night shift with the traffic easily redirected. In the darkness of the cold Guwahati nights, Maligaon, which is usually a busy mess for commuters, turns a silent spectator to the heavy machinery putting together piece by piece, this mega marvel. Although we could not get anyone to speak on record, the visuals from the site depict the true story.