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Footbridge duo set to take a walk

- Pedestrian disinterest prompts move

The government has decided to shift the footbridge in Rajabazar and another near Ultadanaga following a survey that revealed the two were among 11 such facilities across the city seldom used by pedestrians.

The Rajabazar footbridge will be moved closer to Kaiser Street, near Sealdah station, and the Ultadanga structure, closed for a year, near the Kankurgachhi intersection on CIT Road. The shift is likely to take a year.

The decision was taken after an inspection of the footbridges last week by senior engineers from the traffic transportation wing in the transport department and senior traffic police officers, led by deputy commissioner (traffic) Dilip Adak.

“The idea behind footbridges is to reduce chances of accident by providing pedestrians with a safer alternative to crossing busy thoroughfares. But if they lie unutilised, the purpose is defeated,” Adak told Metro during the inspection. “If some of the footbridges are suitably relocated, pedestrians will definitely use them.”

Before the Adak-led inspection, the traffic police had done a survey to find out the number of people crossing roads at “accident-prone intersections”.

The survey made it clear that the footbridges in Rajabazar and near Ultadanga were the least utilised ones. Among the other footbridges hardly used are the ones near NRS Medical College and Hospital and Bridge No. 4 in Park Circus.

Several footbridges came up in Calcutta when the Left Front was in power in the 1980s. Senior transport department officials Metro spoke to admitted that most footbridges were set up without a proper assessment of pedestrian movement.