| Traffic snarl at the Ultadanga crossing on VIP Road at 11.45am on Sunday. Snarls stretched half a kilometre on both sides of the crossing for most of the day. Picture by Sayantan Ghosh
The spectre of traffic chaos hangs over the Ultadanga crossing following the collapse of a portion of the VIP Road-EM Bypass flyover. Police, after a hard time managing the relatively light Sunday traffic, will put in place road restrictions from Monday.
There is no word yet on how long it would take for the VIP Road-Bypass flank to be repaired and reopened, but the 1.3km-long Bypass-VIP Road flank will be open to traffic from Monday morning. This decision was taken late on Sunday to minimise traffic chaos in the exam season.
The 200m-long slip bridge under the flyover, from VIP Road to the mouth of Salt Lake on the Bypass, was thrown open on Sunday night. Vehicles coming into the city from VIP Road can continue using this to avoid the Ultadanga crossing.
From airport: The police will try to divert some cars headed towards the city down VIP Road to Rajarhat Expressway at the Kaikhali crossing. The diverted cars can reach Ultadanga through Salt Lake. Those headed to south Calcutta can hit the EM Bypass at the Chingrihata crossing.
Cars headed to points between Kaikhali and Ultadanga, buses and autorickshaws will, of course, take VIP Road.
The police had come up with a similar plan during Durga Puja 2012 to minimise congestion on VIP Road but it did not have much of an effect since VIP Road could not be closed to south-bound cars.
From Ultadanga: Vehicles headed towards the airport will be allowed to take VIP Road. Traffic congestion is likely throughout the day.
From Chingrihata: The police will try to divert vehicles headed towards the airport to Rajarhat Expressway at the Chingrihata crossing on the EM Bypass. The rest will take the Ultadanga flyover.
Rickshaws, cycles and non-motor goods vehicles will not be allowed on VIP Road.