The state government has accepted a proposal to add two northward flanks to the Park Street flyover to ensure smooth flow of traffic through Esplanade during an agitation in front of Metro cinema.
The flanks will descend on CR Avenue and Bentinck Street. The government has long been considering a proposal to build another flank, which will lead to Mayo Road.
The proposal to build the two flanks was mooted by Trinamul Congress MLA Sadhan Pande at a meeting on Monday to discuss a master plan on the city’s transport infrastructure. Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee “instantly” accepted it.
Sources said Pande had also pointed out, much to the government’s liking, that the flanks would offer a sun shade to protesters gathering in front of Metro cinema. The government is even considering installing water-coolers below the flanks.
“The proposal has been presented to the Japan Bank for International Cooperation for inclusion on the list of priority projects,” said D.K. Sadhu, chief engineer, transport infrastructure development.
He, however, claimed he was not aware of Pande’s statement about the flanks coming to the aid of protesters.
The Esplanade area, Pande pointed out, is a key link between north and south Calcutta. “Any traffic disruption at this junction has a cascading effect across the city.”
Since the area cannot be declared a no-agitation zone — the spot opposite Metro cinema is a favourite of protesters of all hues, political or apolitical — the only solution is to allow vehicles to fly over the chaos, he explained.
“There is a basic flaw in the design of the flyover, as it has been built without any flanks. It has only shifted the perennial snarl at the Park Street intersection to the SN Banerjee Road crossing. Disruption in the north-south flow of traffic has not lessened a bit after the construction of the flyover,” pointed out former mayor Subrata Mukherjee.
“As mayor, I had planned to build these two arms. But I could not take up the project as the state government did not okay it,” he added.