PWD plans foot bridges, traffic rotary-free intersection

IMPHAL, 19th Dec: As a remedy to increasing volume of vehicular traffic and consequent congestion, Public Works Department (PWD) is planning to do away with rotaries at traffic junctions and construct foot over bridges at three different sites on trial basis for the conveniences of pedestrians.
A team of PWD engineers examined the rotary at Chingmeirong Khongnang Ani Karak, which is occupying a huge space along the National Highway and inspected the planned sites for construction of over bridges at foot BT fly over along BT Road on Wednesday.
Speaking to media persons on the sidelines, PWD superintending engineer (National Highways) Yumnam Joykumar informed that with traffic volume in Imphal city increasing with each passing day and traffic congestion becoming a daily problem, the department approached the Ministry of Transport for the project ‘Road safety through improvement of junctions, foot over bridge, footpath, road signs, marking’ in an attempt to solve the problem. The ministry has approved the project and provided a fund of Rs 18.47 crore, he added.
While conveying that Sanjay Infra Limited of Bangalore, which has bagged the e-tender for the project floated by the department, will construct the foot over bridges, Joykumar pointed out that areas where the structures are being planned include Keishampat Thiyam Leirak point, eastern end of BT flyover near Gambhir Singh Shopping Arcade and northern flank of M sector. The department is planning to finish the foundation stage within the next 7-8 days and erection of the structures will be started by late January next year, he added.
The superintending engineer further informed that the bridges are to be constructed with the use of latest technology and pointed out that such bridges incorporated with latest technology have so far been constructed only in handful of major cities like Pune and Delhi.
The design of the foot over bridges have been neatly crafted by a consultant, said Joykumar and informed that the bridges are to be constructed with use of the material called ‘tensile membrane framework’ which is stronger than iron.
The foot-over bridges are to be assembled in the state after the fabrication process by a firm outside the state, the SE added.
He also declared that the department has completed soil testing and bearing capacity of the planned sites for the construction.
with regard to scrapping the traffic rotary currently in place at Khongnang Ani Karak, Kangla Western Gate and Nityaipat Chuthek Raj Bhavan Gate, the PWD officer explained that the system prevalent in England a long time ago is considered as one of the factors for traffic congestion and they have been cleared out in England.
A company from France named Aegis International, which had conducted a study about the traffic volume in Imphal and the existing rotaries, had found out that such rotaries of huge circumference are responsible for causing traffic congestion with many vehicles heading from different directions leading to a gridlock where continuous queues of vehicles block an entire network of intersecting streets, bringing traffic in all directions to a complete standstill. The study recommended improvements from time to time through improvement of junctions.
Whereas it may not be problematic to clear out rotaries at other places, it may turn out to be problematic for the rotary at Khongnang Ani Karak as it would entail whether the two historic banyan trees should be cut down, Joykumar said and suggested that the people share their opinions as the decision of the engineers only cannot be taken into account in such matter.
Saying that the department is also trying to update the traffic junctions near CM bungalow and the one at Keishampat traffic intersection, the superintending engineer maintained that the project is to be completed within a year.

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