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Buddha monitor for four flyovers
- Fund dry-up fear sparks rush for time target
Flyover Started Target Status
Park Street 15/11/01 14/11/03
2 months late
AJC Bose Road 15/02/01 15/08/03 On schedule
Cossipore 03/11/01 02/11/03 On schedule
Gariahat 31/3/01 31/05/03 Delayed

Alarmed at the slow construction of four flyovers in the city with Japanese funds, chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has stepped into the picture, breathing pace into the projects.

Under instruction from the chief minister, his chief secretary S.N. Roy on Thursday made it clear to the transport officials overseeing the flyover projects that the government would not accept any further time overruns, as such a trend put off foreign investors.

Bhattacharjee’s concern springs from the fact that several infrastructure projects in and outside Calcutta are awaiting funding from Japan, which has already expressed unhappiness at the slow pace of execution of the flyover projects. He had conveyed his concerns to the Writers’ Buildings mandarins at a meeting last month. “I shall not stand any more excuses,” he had reportedly said.

“If the flyover projects are delayed, or not found up to the mark, the Japanese companies will get a poor impression of the government and in that case, they may not be interested in further investments in any new project,’’ senior officials said.

At Thursday’s meeting, Roy reportedly told the officials concerned that he would review the progress of the projects at least once a month. Prashant, a joint secretary in the transport department, was appointed a nodal officer for supervising and monitoring the work.

Prashant will coordinate with other agencies, including the Calcutta Municipal Corporation, CESC, Eastern Railway and the Metro Railway, and take necessary steps to clear roadblocks, if any, and submit a weekly report to the chief secretary.

Three flyovers at Park Street, AJC Bose Road and the Cossipore Lockgate are scheduled for completion this year. “We are confident all the projects will be completed on schedule, if no major hurdles come in the way,’’ transport minister Subhas Chakraborty said on Thursday.

According to transport department officials, the Park Street flyover is already about two months behind schedule, which they said would be made up. Work on two other flyovers at AJC Bose Road and the Cossipore Lockgate, however, is running on schedule. Though the Gariahat flyover was ready on time, some more work, including development of roads, is pending.

“We have been facing a lot of problems in the construction of the flyovers as all of them are located in the heart of the city. A lot of time is required to relocate underground water and sewerage lines, electricity and telephone posts. Then, there is the Metro. However, most of the problems are sorted out and we hope the flyovers will be ready on time,’’ Prashant said.

Explaining the cause of delay in progress of the Park Street flyover, Prashant claimed the construction company wanted to close Jawaharlal Nehru Road but failed to get a nod from the administration.

Transport officials said apart from the government initiative, the contractors themselves would make all efforts to complete the projects in time, as according to the agreement, no additional amount will be paid in case of any delay.

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