All illegal structures on VIP Road, including traffic signals, billboards and bus shelters, will be demolished. The controversial signal at the Bangur Avenue crossing, set up recently, will also be felled, officials said. A joint inspection by police officers of North 24-Parganas, engineers of the Public Works Department (PWD) and municipal officials was conducted last Sunday. Sources said the illegal traffic signals will be identified soon.
“The report identifying the illegal billboards and other structures will be submitted to me,” PWD minister Amar Chowdhury said on Wednesday. He alleged that the district police had set up the signal at the Bangur crossing without informing the PWD. “The South Dum Dum Municipality has also expressed its displeasure over the signal,” Chowdhury said. “Discussions are underway on how to ease the traffic load at Keshtopur and Baguiati junctions,” he added.
“The police will help the PWD demolition drive on VIP Road,” said Ajay Nand, additional superintendent of police, Salt Lake, on Wednesday.
The signal post at the Bangur crossing set off controversy after it was installed recently. South Dum Dum Municipality had officially protested against the installation. “It is illegal and was installed without our permission,” Srihir Bhattacharya, chairman of the CPM-controlled municipality, said. “We recently faxed our complaint to the chief minister in this regard,” he said. “Even if it is for the good of the people, we cannot take an illegal step. Where did the money for the signal come from'” Bhattacharya asked.
Officials feel that installing signals on VIP Road will only hamper movement of vehicles. “On VIP Road, where the traffic is fast, footbridges should be built, instead of signals,” a state traffic department official said.
Police sources said there are at least four illegal bus shelters on VIP Road, from the Golaghata crossing to Lake Town. These were built without permission from PWD or the civic authorities. “Road accidents have increased due to these bus stands as passengers crowd the crossings,” an official said.