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Revival prod for high road
- Rs 34.30 crore to extend and complete abandoned flyover

It was flagged off in 1997. It was abandoned in 2000. On Friday, for the first time in five years, the unfinished Kidderpore flyover received a revival prod.

The Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government gave the go-ahead for the resumption of construction on the flyover, at an additional investment of Rs 34.30 crore.

In the revised scheme of things, the modified flyover will be extended over Tolly's Nullah (parallel to the existing Kidderpore bridge) up to Hastings.

'We had written to the Centre, seeking financial assistance for carrying out the construction, as its alignment falls along the newly-declared National Highway 117. Since we have not received any response from Delhi, we have decided to resume work with our own resources,' said chief secretary Asok Gupta.

The Telegraph had reported in April 2004 how the Kidderpore project crowned a long list of projects that had been either delayed or grounded.

Transport secretary Sumantra Chowdhury said: 'Once the work order is issued, the project will take between 18 and 24 months for completion.'

He added: 'The project will help the entire south-bound traffic in the city, including areas like Behala and Diamond Harbour Road. We hope to bring about port connectivity as well connectivity between the city and South 24-Parganas. This is part of the government's push to improve transport infrastructure in the city and its peripheral areas.'

The new plan involves linking the half-done bridge to a flyover on Diamond Harbour Road which will, in turn, run over the Tolly's Nullah adjacent to the existing Kidderpore bridge, to terminate at Hastings.

The 41.5 m-long flyover involves the structure over Diamond Harbour Road and a new bridge spanning the Tolly's Nullah. The new bridge, to run south of the old structure, will be eight metres wide, with two lanes.

The road length from Kona Expressway to Bakkhali was declared a national highway in early 2004. The highway runs along Vidyasagar Setu, Kidderpore Road, Diamond Harbour Road, Joka, Kulpi, Diamond Harbour, Kakdwip and Namkhana to Bakkhali.

'With the new extended bridge, vehicular movement from the Alipore area towards Esplanade and eastward towards Vidyasagar Setu and the Hooghly will pick up speed,' said a transport department official.

'Traffic will also be able to pass unhindered down Diamond Harbour Road,' he added.

The original project was to be carried out by Mackintosh Burn in 1993 at a cost of Rs 22 crore.

'Work on the project will be taken up at once and funds released in the new financial year. The HRBC will be entrusted with the construction,' said a senior government official.

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