Speed-turned-snarl corridors Ruby and Anandapur on the Bypass will get a flyover each along with Jadavpur and Ultadanga if Delhi releases funds as smoothly as the state government gave its sanction.
The Calcutta Municipal Corporation’s proposal to build four flyovers under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission was cleared after an internal appraisal by the state government’s steering committee. The next step will be tougher.
“We will send the proposal to the Union government for funding once the CMC gives us the detailed project reports,” urban development minister Firhad Hakim said.
A consultant has been hired to prepare the project reports. “The consultant is supposed to submit the DPRs to us by the first week of November. We will make changes, if necessary, and hand the reports to the state government to forward them to Delhi for funding,” a senior CMC official said.
Flyovers are a quick fix for traffic bottlenecks and Calcutta already has a few in various stages of construction, including one connecting Parama on the Bypass with Park Circus.
The proposed flyovers are meant to be between the Kasba post office bus-stop and Ruby rotary on the Bypass, The Heritage School in Anandapur and Bantala, Dhakuria and Jadavpur Sulekha, and the Ultadanga underpass and VIP Road.
The first three stretches have seen traffic go haywire because of the construction boom and population explosion along the length of the Bypass and its arteries.
The proposed Ruby flyover will take off near the eastern end of the Ballygunge flyover and end near the rotary on the Bypass. “Snarls are a perennial problem along the Rashbehari connector. If this flyover comes up, people can travel the distance without any traffic signal to interrupt the flow,” a CMC engineer said.
A few kilometres away, a second flyover will take off near the southern end of the Dhakuria flyover and end near Sukanta Setu at Jadavpur. “Raja Subodh Mullick Road remains clogged during peak hours. This proposed flyover will create additional road space,” the official said.
In the north, the proposal is to build a flyover connecting the underpass near Ultadanga railway station with VIP Road to help traffic bypass the snarls at the crossing.
The fourth proposed flyover has been suggested between The Heritage School in Anandapur and Bantala, on the Basanti highway.
A source in the Calcutta Metropolitan Development Authority, the nodal agency for all JNNURM projects in Bengal, said officials in Delhi had told them that several factors would be considered while sanctioning a project.
Each state had a percentage of funds reserved for it during the first phase of JNNURM, but all new projects will be approved only if they conform to certain parameters.
“Detailed project reports that are submitted first will have a greater chance of being sanctioned. A state’s performance in completing approved JNNURM projects will also be taken into consideration,” a CMDA official said.
Delhi has asked Bengal to showcase more completed projects by the end of the year, which could be a problem. The state’s performance in Phase I has been less than satisfactory. Of the 71 projects sanctioned, only 17 have been completed so far.
Some of the incomplete projects have had a history of problems. Work on the Parama-Park Circus flyover hasn’t progressed much over the past few months because HCC, the engineering company building the project, has demanded a cost revision by citing the delay in handing it a part of the site.
The flyover above Vivekananda Road, connecting Posta and Girish Park, is also far from completion although it was sanctioned in 2008.
States handling an almost equal number of projects have fared better than Bengal. Gujarat got 77 projects sanctioned in the first phase, of which it has completed 49. Maharashtra has the highest number of sanctioned projects, 86, and has completed 37 of them.