With regard to the ongoing work for the Four Lane Highway through the built up areas of the Capital Complex, one cannot help but be concerned whether all necessary requirements of the road will be met.
First of all, it appears that the widths of the lanes are rather small, perhaps due to structures on either side. If the necessary width is not maintained, the four lanes will be only in name and not serve any purpose. Traffic congestion will not be addressed if vehicles cannot give way to each other.
Secondly, there does not seem to be any provision of pedestrian footpath along the highway. This would force people to walk on the road itself, risking their lives and inviting accidents. Roads should be holistic and cater to pedestrians too.
Thirdly, no space for parking or movement of people seems to have been provided for. To a lay person, the outer edge of the road seems to come right up to shops and buildings. It is very likely that a person stepping out of a shop or house will be run over by a speeding vehicle. In some stretches, the edge of the carriageway drops right off at cliffs without an inch of shoulder space to spare. One can see an example of this when one drives from the PHQ (Chandranagar) towards Gohpur Tinali.
The repercussion of minimal space beyond the carriageway can be evidenced by the fact that in many places along the already completed stretch of the four lane highway, the outer lane is not usable due to parking of vehicles and movement of people. In other words, the four lanes have been de facto reduced to two.
One wonders if acquisition of sufficient width of land has been compromised due to compensation considerations. On the other hand, it is also possible that necessary evictions have not been carried out and the authorities have been lax in controlling encroachment of the highway space.
One does sincerely hope that one is wrong and that all the above concerns are baseless. We don’t get too many opportunities to better our state. It is hoped that this opportunity is not squandered.