Silchar: Silchar, the second-biggest urban sprawl in Assam after Guwahati, could end its “perennial problem” of traffic congestion soon, at least to a certain extent, with the Silchar (Ramnagar) bypass road in the final stages of completion.

A public works department official (national highway division) told EastMojo that about 99 per cent of the 22km-long bypass road had been wrapped up. The road, aimed at easing traffic snarls in Silchar, could be inaugurated soon. Vehicles have been plying regularly on this route for the past few months, even though it has not yet been officially inaugurated, the official stated.

Sources said the bypass road project, whose foundation stone was laid by former chief minister late Tarun Gogoi in 2011, connects with Sonai assembly constituency’s Sonabarighat area and covers over 20 villages near Silchar town. Construction started in 2011 and was supposed to be completed in 2014, but this did not happen due to various reasons, including legal matters. The work, which stopped for a few years, resumed in 2021 after the state government took a proactive approach and got the work started again, considering the increasing traffic snarls in Silchar, sources said.

Sharing his reaction with EastMojo, an eminent citizen of Silchar town and social activist Sadhan Purkayastha, said the bypass road would certainly mitigate the problem of traffic jams in Silchar to a certain extent. “Silchar town has been facing the issue of traffic snarls for the past many years. The bypass road will be helpful in substantially easing traffic congestion,” Purkayastha said.

Abhishek Chakraborty, a resident of Silchar’s Tarapur area and a businessman by profession, said Silchar badly needed a solution to its age-old problem of traffic jams and that the bypass route would be helpful in this regard. Hopefully, the remaining work (around one per cent) of the road will be completed soon, he said. He urged the government to ponder about constructing a flyover in a suitable place in Silchar to reduce traffic congestion further.

A social worker and a resident of Meherpur in Silchar Joydeep Chakraborty said the bypass road would be immensely helpful during medical emergencies. People from areas, like Tarapur and Ramnagar, among others, had to go to Silchar Medical College and Hospital and other private hospitals (mostly located in Meherpur) after crossing the entire town and this took a lot of time due to traffic jams. It takes much lesser time travelling through the bypass road. Patients coming from Hailakandi and Karimganj districts will also be benefited as they will not have to enter Silchar town to reach SMCH or other major hospitals. Vehicles that transport goods and essential commodities to other neighbouring states can also take the bypass route to avoid traffic jams in the town area, Chakraborty said.

It may be mentioned that Silchar, the headquarters of the Cachar district, experiences the annoyance of traffic snarls every day with a huge number of vehicles entering and plying through the town’s narrow roads. Some of the worst-affected areas (which face traffic snarls multiple times daily) include Tarapur (near Silchar railway station), Central Road, Premtala, Hospital Road, Rangirkhari and Meherpur, among others.

Barak Valley, which comprises three districts including Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi, shares inter-state borders with Mizoram, Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura. Several vehicles from these states come to Silchar or travel to other places via this town daily.

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