The decks are cleared for the proposed Taratala flyover. The CPM-led government and the Trinamul Congress-controlled civic body have sunk their differences to okay the project.
Public Works Department (PWD) minister Amar Chowdhury announced on Tuesday that the government would float tenders within the next three months, inviting bidders for construction of the flyover on Diamond Harbour Road.
“We have finally got the Calcutta Municipal Corporation’s nod for going ahead with the Rs 53-crore project,” the minister said, adding that the proposed flyover, 500 metres long and seven metres wide, will be completed in a year and a half with loans from the Hudco. “The flyover is a long-standing demand of residents of the Behala and Thakurpukur areas, as the stretch has turned into a nightmare, due to prolonged traffic snarls every day,” he observed.
The civic body had been stalling clearance for over nine months because of some objections raised by key Trinamul functionaries, including mayor Subrata Mukherjee and local MLA Partha Chatterjee. They wanted the flyover to have two arms, one leading to James Long Sarani and the other to Taratala, to ease congestion in the locality.
Minister Chowdhury told newspersons at Writers’ Buildings on Tuesday that he had met the mayor thrice to get the project cleared. He said differences over the project were resolved at an across-the-table discussion.
Mayor Mukherjee admitted that the civic body had some reservations about the design of the flyover and the proposed sewerage and drainage systems. “We have okayed the project after the contentious issues were sorted out,” he added.
Local Trinamul MLA Chatterjee welcomed the flyover and said he had personally written to the government several times to get the project started. He had raised the demand a number of times in the Assembly, too. “The flyover will be of immense help for people on the southern fringes, since it will connect the city with far-flung areas of South 24-Parganas district, including Diamond Harbour, Budge Budge and Canning,” he added.
The government has also acquired land for construction of the second Vivekananda bridge, between Baranagar and Bally, 50 metres down the Bally bridge, on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) scheme, the PWD minister announced. “There were some problems regarding land acquisition near Baranagar Jute Mill, but those have since been sorted out,” he said. The Rs 350-crore project will be completed within the next three years.
Chowdhury said the government has also drawn up a scheme to repair and reconstruct various roads, measuring nearly 500 metres, in the city and its neighbourhood, with a loan assistance of Rs 150 crore from Hudco.