Gautam Deb with officials and team members of RITES under the DBCRD flyover at Mahabirstan in Siliguri on Sunday. Picture by Kundan Yolmo
Siliguri, Dec. 22: Minister Gautam Deb today said the arm of the Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das flyover that connects the Station Feeder Road in Mahabirstan to Hill Cart Road would be replaced with a wider flank.
“The arm is narrow and steep. It not only affects traffic but also the businesses of local traders in Mahabirstan, which is a wholesale and retail hub in Siliguri. There is little space under the arm and it is narrow at the top,” Deb said.
“We had invited RITES — a central government undertaking — to give us their opinion and expertise to dismantle the existing arm and build a new one, which would be wider and longer,” Deb added.
He said a team from RITES inspected the flyover today. “Around Rs 30 crore is required for the project and would be provided by the state government. We expect the work to commence from August next year,” the north Bengal development minister added.
The team, led by Tarun Sengupta, general manager (highway division) of RITES, inspected the flyover and the area through which the proposed new arm would pass. He said they were planning to make a 750m arm with a width of 7.5m.
The width of the flyover’s arm at present is 5m and the length is around 400m.
“We have been surveying the flyover and the area for the past six months. We are supposed to submit two reports, a feasibility report and a detailed project report (DPR). Today, we have submitted the feasibility report, mentioning that the alternative arm can be built. The DPR would be submitted to the north Bengal development department in three months,” Sengupta said.
The Trinamul minister said elaborate plans have been made to increase the number of roads in and around Siliguri to ease the traffic congestion during rush hour.
“The rise in traffic is steep in Siliguri, which is the principal town in northeastern India after Guwahati. The people, however, suffer severe traffic congestion and development of road infrastructure is needed. We need more flyovers, bypass roads, pavements, walk-bridges and other facilities to reduce congestion. This is why, a project of Rs 500 crore has been prepared by our department and has been sent to the Centre,” Deb said.
Another project, which has been taken up by Deb’s department is the widening of 10 roads across Siliguri.
“There are several important roads like the DBCR Road, Burdwan Road, Kutcheri Road and Subhashpally Main Road that require widening and improvement for easy traffic movement,” Deb said.
Some other projects which have been planned by the north Bengal development department include development of Bidhan Market, the principal retail market in Siliguri. “We will build multi-storey buildings for shops in empty spaces of the market. There would be open squares and parking spaces. A company from Mumbai has been hired for consultation on the project,” Deb said.
“Also, three public toilet clusters would be built. We are also planning a motel on the outskirts of Siliguri jointly with state PWD to provide wayside amenities to travelers,” he added.