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Poll vows at launch
- Delayed Flyover makes debut

A port at Kulpi or Sagar, a Raichak-Haldia bridge and a swank road connecting Namkhana with Kona ' with the elections approaching, the chief minister hardsold his dreams of a well-connected city at the inauguration of the Taratala flyover.

Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee claimed that 'connectivity' was the key to the state's resurgence and the need of the hour was proper roads. The Rs 26-crore flyover is a step towards this goal, he stated.

'Along with development in the spheres of health and education, we need good roads. I am happy that the bridge has been delivered on time,' the chief minister added.

For the local residents, though, the wait for the flyover to be readied must have seemed interminable. Started with a tentative deadline of August 2003, the 551-m-long, four-lane flyover ' connecting the Alipore Mint and Ajanta theatre on Diamond Harbour Road ' hit the first roadblock after differences cropped up between the state public works department (PWD) and the Trinamul Congress-led civic board.

After the differences were resolved, work resumed with a revised deadline of mid-2004. The flyover was finally completed following pressure from factions of the CPM, which felt it would boost the poll prospects of the party in an area dominated by the Trinamul.

'We plan to throw open the Bondel Gate flyover, along with the Belghoria Expressway flyover, within the next few months,' said Amar Choudhury, PWD minister, at the inauguration.

For the chief minister and others in his Cabinet, the flyover came as a step towards realising the long-term goal of connecting the interiors of south Calcutta to the heart of the city while doing away with the congestion on Taratala Road.

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