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IIT gets its flyover, finally

Calcutta, April 13: The tech school’s graduates are among the cream of India’s engineers, but IIT Kharagpur has had to wait years to get a flyover built on home turf.

This week, the railways and the Bengal government finally agreed to the premier institute’s long-standing demand for smooth travel from the railway station to the campus.

The 1052.69-metre flyover will pass over two level crossings — one for goods trains and the other for broad-gauge passenger trains — that stand between the Kharagpur subdivisional hospital and the IIT campus.

“The railway station is 5 km away, just a 10-minute drive, but we have to leave the campus with an hour in hand. You never know how long you might have to wait at the level crossings,” said Jaydip Burman, professor in charge of constructions at the institute.

The Rs 23.7-crore flyover promises to cut the travel time to 15 minutes.

South Eastern Railway and the state government will spend Rs 8.9 crore each and the IIT will have to fork out the remaining Rs 5.9 crore.

The flyover will be called the Hijli Road overbridge after the Hijli detention camp that housed the premier institute when it came up 57 years ago.

IIT Kharagpur graduates helped railway engineers draw up the plan. The state public works department vetted it, and the project received the green light on Wednesday.

“For years, we had been requesting the state government and the railways to make access to the campus easier,” said Madhusudan Chakraborty, deputy director of the institute.

“Now that all the parties have committed themselves to building the flyover, we hope work will start as soon as possible. Our alumni have put in a lot of hard work to make the project see the light of day.”

“Now, the three parties will have to sit down together before work can start. We also need a no-objection certificate from the government,” a railway official said.

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