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Month of monsoon punches potholes along Bypass

A worn-out patch of road at the Ruby roundabout
The service road to Ajaynagar from Hiland Park is a succession of craters, small and big, that emerged soon after the first monsoon showers
Mud and potholes litter the lane in front of passport office and near Calcutta International School off the Ruby crossing
An 8ftx5ft crater sits on the Ruby-bound flank of the Bypass just before the Baghajatin flyover. Pictures by Bibhash lodh

The monsoon has been weak this year but several stretches of the Bypass are already full of its appurtenances — potholes and ragged surfaces shorn of asphalt.

Metro leaped into a car, a rover would have been better, to check the so-called speed corridor’s health just over a month into the rainy season. At the end, it turned out to be an endurance test for human bones and car shocks.

Where: Baghajatin flyover (over the railway tracks)

What: A huge crater, about 8ft wide and 5ft long, welcomes motorists on the flyover’s Ruby-bound flank. Vehicles try to skirt it but the space on the two sides is narrow and tricky — an undulating mass of tar that gives the feel of riding on multiple humps. “The road before the flyover is in good shape and so drivers are often taken by surprise when the crater suddenly pops up. Anyone unaware of the pothole brakes hard and tries to swerve left or right. This can lead to serious accidents,” said a Patuli resident.

Why: A senior engineer of the Calcutta Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) says the pothole is the result of waterlogging on that stretch because of poor drainage. “Waterlogging is the biggest enemy of roads. We will look into the drainage problem.”

Where: The Ruby crossing

What: It may be one of Calcutta’s busiest crossing, but the road is not fit for the load of vehicles it carries every day and night. A large part of the road surrounding the landscaped island in the middle is in poor shape. Besides, the part of the road towards Anandapur has worn out. Foundation bricks beneath the tar surface have been exposed. “An important crossing like Ruby should be in a better shape. There are thousands of buses, private cars, autorickshaws plying here every hour,” said Animesh Bose, who works near Ultadanga and has to come to Ajaynagar often for work.

Why: CMDA officials say the Ruby crossing has taken a battering from the movement of heavy vehicles of the railways. Besides the Calcutta Municipal Corporation had dug up the left side of the Garia-bound flank to lay underground water supply pipes. The road has not been repaired since the work ended.

Where: Service road in front of the passport office off the Ruby roundabout

What: If there is a prize for the worst stretch on and off the Bypass, this road will be the top contender. It resembles a kuccha road. Vehicles cannot move even 10m without swerving right or left to avoid craters. Walking down the road is a bigger torment because of the mud. The stretch is an office-cum-commercial pocket with many government offices, private establishments, the passport office and car showrooms lined on it. “There are so many important offices here. The government should accord priority to repair of the road,” said a woman who works at one of the private offices in the lane.

Why: Sources in the CMDA say the stretch had been dug up to lay a water supply pipe of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation. The repair work has started.

Where: Service road in front of Mani Square

What: The surface doesn’t have any crater but a light shower can create large puddles. “For someone visiting Mani Square from Maniktala Main Road, there is little option but to step on the water,” said Niharika Singh, who lives near Kankurgachi.

Why: Poor drainage.

Where: Service road to Ajaynagar from Hiland Park

What: Multiple craters, small and big, are scattered across the road. Residents say the craters formed about a month ago, soon after the first showers.

“Waterlogging is common. After the water recedes, the craters emerge,” said Alo Dutta, who runs a roadside shop.

Why: The CMDA engineer says poor drainage causes the waterlogging, which eventually destroys the road.