By Aafaque Hussain
SHILLONG: The Shillong Bypass project, which has been completed much before its deadline, has raised hopes of a changing trend of road construction in the State.
The project, which had been lingering for the past two decades, is now awaiting its formal inauguration.
This scribe paid a visit to the Bypass and observed that the project is almost complete with the black topping of the road more or less over.
Driving on the Bypass was proved to be a smooth experience with the quality of the road being far better than other roads in the State.
An official of the National Highway Authority of India (NHA) on Sunday said, “The project is 99 per cent complete and now we are installing additional safety mechanism on the road.”
As the entire stretch of the Bypass is quite broad and smooth, the NHAI is taking various precautions to reduce accidents in the 47.06-km long Bypass. Road signs, intersections, zebra crossing, solar lights and red indicators have been properly marked on the road for the safety of the commuters.
An interesting innovation in the project is the emergency telephone service which has been installed in the entire stretch of the Bypass.
The phone can be used in cases of accidents or other emergency situations.
“Money will be released tomorrow and the IIT, Guwahati will start their traffic Safety Audit probably from next week,” the NHAI official said on request of anonymity.
The Safety Audit is a mandatory exercise to check the road signs, intersections and accident prone areas on the road.
The 47.06-km Bypass, which begins at Umiam in Ri-Bhoi district and ends on National Highway-44 at Mawryngkneng in East Khasi Hills District, is being implemented by M/S GR -Chetak (JV).
The Bypass which is being constructed at a cost of Rs 220.35 crore includes one major and eight minor bridges.
The project is expected to go a long way in reducing the frequent traffic snarls in the State capital as heavy vehicles including trucks heading for Jowai and other States can be diverted through the Bypass without having to cross the city.