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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Caught in car crawl' Fly over

Caught in a car crawl on the Park Circus connector' Gaze up with a prayer on your lips that the government's grand plan takes wings.

Faced with a severe space jam and a mounting car count, the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government has drawn up a design solution involving two aerial rotaries ' one at Park Circus and the other off Science City ' and a 4.5-km-long elevated road connecting the Park Circus intersection to Parama island, on the EM Bypass.

The Rs 250-crore (estimated) project was announced by urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya at Writers' Buildings on Wednesday afternoon. 'The idea is to reduce congestion on the Park Circus connector and on the EM Bypass. Even if the Milan Mela (trade fair ground) wasn't coming up on the Bypass, these roads will be cramped for space in less than two years,' said a senior Calcutta Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) official.

At the Park Circus end, the elevated rotary ' at 5.5 m above ground ' will have three flanks linking it to Park Street, Syed Amir Ali Avenue and the AJC Bose flyover.

Traffic from these three roads will hit the rotary and move towards Parama island on the elevated road, also to run 5.5 m above Bridge No. 4.

There will be a second aerial rotary above Parama island as the hub for the elevated road over the EM Bypass coming down near the Silver Spring housing project in the north and Ambedkar bridge in the south.

The elevated road will also have a flank descending near ITC Sonar Bangla, beside the trade fair grounds. Traffic headed towards the trade fair ground will have to descend via this flank.

Minister Bhattacharya said expressions of interest, from the private sector for the project, would be invited in May. The project would be undertaken on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis.

'As we are short of funds, we will not be able to pay our share in cash. We'll pay some of the project money in cash, while a part of it will be paid in instalments. We will also offer the interested party land in Rajarhat, as well as advertising rights on billboards along the Bypass and other parts of the city,' Bhattacharya said.

According to officials, the Park Circus connector has reached 80 per cent of its saturation point and will be completely saturated in another 18 months.

Already, the time taken to negotiate Bridge No. 4 during rush hours is mounting alarmingly and traffic along the Bypass is invariably reduced to a crawl during weekday evenings.

These threaten to dilute one advantage of the AJC Bose Road flyover: speeding up Bypass-bound traffic.

An additional three lakh daily visitors are expected on the EM Bypass once the trade fair ground and crafts village come up, slamming the brakes further on traffic in the zone.

In another development, in order to link the upcoming Chitpur terminus to the EM Bypass, the CMDA has also decided to build a 500-m flyover from the BC Roy Children's Park on the Bypass, at a cost of Rs 50 crore.

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