Faced with criticism about the poor infrastructure of his department, state transport minister Subhas Chakraborty on Monday announced a government plan for the overall improvement of the city’s traffic and transportation system.
At a gathering organised by the Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce, Chakraborty said the government thrust would be on improving the transport sector. “You will see a vast change in the city’s traffic movement in the next three years,’’ the minister said. The new projects include construction of an inter-state bus terminus, a car-parking lot, a modern jetty, installation of an electronic-signalling system, eco-friendly buses, thorough repair of three major intersections at Chowringhee, Maniktala and Hatibagan and traffic discipline.
Expressing annoyance over the condition of the Chowringhee Road-Lenin Sarani intersection, the minister said repairs would be carried out immediately. “In fact, the tram tracks, that have been freshly laid, are 2.5 feet below the surface level. As a result, accidents have become a regular feature on this stretch.”
Earlier, mayor Subrata Mukherjee had written to Chakraborty to instruct the contractor to complete the repairs as per plan, or restore the road to its earlier state. “Developing that stretch was part of a construction package for the Park Street flyover. The earlier plan was to construct a 300-metre-stretch near the Chittaranjan Avenue-S. N. Banerjee Road crossing, by lowering the height of the road surface. The contractor had started the job but left it midway. Later, he claimed that the idea was not feasible. So we dropped the plan and asked him to restore the road to its original state,’’ Chakraborty said.
According to transport engineers, the surface level cannot be reduced for any particular stretch. “However, if the tram tracks are removed, we do not foresee any problem. But the government wants to keep the tram tracks intact,” the engineers said.
Chakraborty said Yachi Corporation, consultants for the construction of the six flyovers in the city, did not conduct a thorough study and suggested moves that were not feasible for the city.
“We are trying to find out other ways to improve the intersections for easier vehicular movement,’’ he said. “We shall build two bus terminii, one beneath Vidyasagar Setu (Calcutta side) and the other near the Rashbehari connector on the E.M. Bypass. We have directed engineers to start work after the monsoon,’’ Chakraborty said.