The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Flyover or festival, roadís end

THE CHARGES: The Sribhumi Sporting Club puja, which has Subhas Chakraborty confidant and CPM-livewire-turned-Trinamul Congress-leader Sujit Bose as its chief patron, will block the entire stretch of the Ultadanga-Lake Town service road that runs parallel to VIP Road, apart from a portion of the northward lane of VIP Road ó the cityís only direct link with the airport.

6Most of the lanes and bylanes that bring Lake Town and Dakshindari residents to VIP Road will remain blocked as well, forcing them onto the clogged Jessore Road route

6The service road-VIP Road junction at Lake Town, too, will remain closed for the Pujas. Vehicles taking the Jessore Road route from VIP Road, and vice versa, will have to take several long detours, the shortest of which is through Bangur Avenue

6The Sribhumi bus stop will be inoperative for four days, forcing commuters to walk nearly a kilometre to take a bus

6Non-stop music will blare from the loudspeakers all day and late-night musical soirees are expected to do their bit to flout the decibel bar

Boseís DEFENCE: This puja is one of the best in the city and one of the largest crowd-pullers. Blocking the Ultadanga-Lake Town service road and a portion of VIP Road was essential to facilitate easy movement for the crowds. There are many who drive down and so, we need to provide them with parking space too.

I hope the people will bear with us, as they have done for so many years. We deploy dozens of volunteers to make the area less chaotic and they can be approached in case of any problem.

One lane of what is arguably the cityís most important thoroughfare, Chowringhee, has been closed down as well for the construction of a flyover. A stretch of Lower Circular Road, too, has been blocked for the same reason. If that is allowed, whatís wrong in shutting down a few roads for four days only' Itís our duty to provide security to so many people who flock to see this puja. Raising these issues now is a distraction that we can do without.

We use loudspeakers to entertain people, not disturb them. We have the good sense to dismantle the microphones from near any residence that may house the ailing or the recuperating.

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