The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Traffic lights, ouster drive for safe Bypass

The government on Thursday announced measures, including evictions, to curb road mishaps on the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass. Urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya said encroachments on either side of the Bypass were preventing the government from widening it into a six-lane artery with three service roads. The police will launch the eviction drive soon.

After holding a meeting with senior officials, including those of the city police and the CMDA, minister Bhattacharya said mishaps were on the rise on the Bypass because of a sharp rise in traffic volume. “The arterial road is encroached upon on both sides, from Ultadanga to Garia. We will have to do something immediately to bring down the accident rate,” he added. Minister of state for Sunderbans development Kanti Ganguly and district magistrate of South 24-Parganas Alapan Bandopadhyay also attended the meeting.

Minister Bhattacharya said that traffic signals will be installed within a week at VIP Nagar, in the Tiljala area, where a major mishap occurred a fortnight ago. More traffic signals will be put up along the Bypass over the next few months.

The government has also taken up a Rs 1.2-crore scheme to put up railings on either side of the Bypass. Besides, direction posts, road dividers and other traffic signs will be installed in phases as part of the plan to evolve a scientific traffic management system.

Bhattacharya said funds for the scheme will be raised from advertisement billboards. “We will soon float tenders inviting advertisers to set up billboards on the Bypass,” he added.

The scheme to instal traffic signs, railings and direction posts will be implemented in two phases. In the first phase, work will be carried out from Ultadanga to Ruby Hospital. Work between Ruby Hospital and Garia will be taken up in the second phase.

Silt dump

Bhattacharya also held another meeting with irrigation department officials to discuss the problem arising out of the huge quantity of silt dug out — as part of the cleaning operation — from the Beleghata canal and piled up on both banks. The accumulation of silt is causing serious pollution in the neighbourhood.

“We have calculated that it will take 40,000 trips by a truck to remove the silt. According to an agreement with the contractor, it is he who has to dispose of the silt. We have clearly told the contractor to dispose of it, with the help of the CMDA and the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC),” he said.

The minister invited people needing earth for construction and other purposes to take as much as they could, for free.

Officials said the CMC and the CMDA are already looking for areas to dump the silt without causing much environmental pollution. Attempts are on to locate a suitable dumping ground off the Bypass.

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