A civic truck removes dredged canal muck from the Bypass-bound flank of the Park Circus connector on Thursday. Picture by Anup Bhattacharya
Traffic crawled on the Bypass-bound flank of the Park Circus connector for much of Thursday morning after the road was bunged up with dredged muck from an adjoining canal.
The civic agency had scooped out mud and rubbish from the canal from midnight till morning on Thursday and dumped the debris beside the two-way road. It didn’t remove the overflowing muck, which streamed onto the Bypass-bound flank and triggered a traffic mess.
When traffic policemen reported for duty around 7.30am, they found two-thirds of the road in front of the China Town gate blocked by the slush. There was hardly space for a single file of vehicles to cross the stretch of the connector that links central Calcutta with the city’s east.
A while later, vehicles carrying hundreds of workers to their Sector V and New Town Rajarhat offices were stuck in snarls stretching nearly 3km till the Park Circus seven-point crossing.
Ripples of the snarl were felt on CIT Road, the AJC Bose Road flyover and many parts of central Calcutta.
“Even on a normal weekday, the connector remains up to the brim with vehicles during rush hour. On Thursday morning, cars were actually moving at a snail’s pace. The snarl had reached the Park Circus crossing,” said an officer.
An engineer with an IT company in Sector V was caught in the jam. He grumbled: “I was at Park Circus at 10am. I could reach Science City at 10.40am.” The slippery slush caused minor accidents, leaving quite a few victims with bruises and cuts. Officers said about eight motorcyclists slipped while trying to drive over the foot-deep muck.
Workers from the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) began clearing the mess around 11am. They sprinkled sand on the slippery surface to prevent more accidents. Normality was restored around noon.
The CMC cleaned the open drains running along the road between midnight and 5.30am on Thursday. A senior civic official said it was impossible to remove the slush immediately after cleaning the canal.
The official said putting the gooey substance on trucks immediately after dredging it out of the drains was not possible and so the slush was left in the open to dry. “Once the muck dries up and solidifies, it becomes easy to transport. This is how we work. We dredge and clean the drain. The muck is kept by the road and removed over the next few days,” he added.
The clean-up is part of the civic agency’s preparation for the rainy season. “We will keep the drains clean ahead of the rains so that waterlogging can be prevented,” the official said.
A 23-year-old youth died after he fell in a septic tank in Thakurpukur around 2.30am on Thursday. Police said Prasenjit Sarkar was repairing the tank. He was taken to Vidyasagar Hospital where doctors declared him dead on arrival.