Urban development minister Firhad Hakim during the ceremony at Batanagar on Friday. (Bibhash Lodh)
Mamata Banerjee on Friday flagged off the construction of a 7.5-km “elevated road” connecting Jinjira Bazar with Batanagar, the first flyover project in Bengal to go on stream as a public-private partnership (PPP).
The chief minister unveiled a remote-controlled plaque at Batanagar from Netaji Indoor Stadium during a ceremony telecast live at the construction site there. Urban development minister Firhad Hakim was at Batanagar.
Metro highlights what the proposed flyover means for the fast-growing western fringe and tracks the progress of similar projects in the city.
The flyover will take off at Jinjira Bazar, about 3km west of the Taratala crossing, and terminate at Batanagar. The two-lane flyover will run above Budge Budge Trunk Road.
A modern township is coming up on 262 acres in Batanagar. The Calcutta Riverside Project includes apartments, a hospital, a film city and a sports academy, among other facilities. For those planning to live there, the flyover will be the quickest route to Taratala.
People living beyond Batanagar — mainly Satgachhia, Pujali and Budge Budge — will also benefit.
“Budge Budge Trunk Road is a traffic-heavy thoroughfare. Trailers ply on this road, reducing the speed of vehicles behind them. Once the flyover is complete, the smaller vehicles can take the elevated route and that will reduce congestion on the road below,” said an official of Riverbank Holdings Private Ltd, one of the private partners in the project.
Larsen & Toubro, the engineering company that will build the flyover, is the other private partner.
“This project will immensely benefit people of this area. I request the local people to cooperate with the construction agencies. We might have to relocate some people who have encroached on the carriageway,” minister Hakim said.
The government also plans to widen Budge Budge Trunk Road.
The Rs 255.73-crore project will be part-financed by Delhi — 35 per cent of the budget — and the rest of the money will come from the private partners.
The private stakeholders will have the right to levy toll on users for 30 years after the flyover is opened.
Two years from the start of work. Sources said the task of shifting various utilities might delay the completion of the project. Removing encroachments could also prove a problem.
In Calcutta, almost all the flyovers under construction have failed to meet their original deadlines. Metro draws up a status report.
Length: 8.14km, from the Park Circus seven-point crossing to Parama on the Bypass.
Started in: February 2010, with August 2012 as the deadline.
Status: About 65 per cent of the work has been done, but there has been no progress since January 2013. CMDA, the state government undertaking executing the project, is still looking for a contractor to finish the work. The contract with HCC, which was building the flyover, was withdrawn last December over a cost-escalation claim.
Expected completion: Nobody knows. End-2015 is the earliest construction can be completed, sources said.
Length: 2.2km, from Girish Park to Howrah.
Started in: December 2009
Status: An internal review report of the CMDA states that about 67 per cent of the work has been done.
Expected completion: The revised deadline is July 2014, but sources said it couldn’t be met. Work on a 600-metre arm of the flyover going towards Nimtola Ghat Street from Posta has only just begun.
Length: Over 2km, from Kestopur till Joramandir
Started in: April 2012
Status: About 50 per cent of the four-lane flyover has been completed. Sources said this was the only flyover with a chance of being ready within the revised deadline.
Expected completion: December 2014.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday announced that civilians involved in acts of bravery that help police in maintaining law and order would be given jobs.