Concerned over a spurt in road accidents on the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass, the government has decided to seal a number of connectors to the arterial road.
Urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya held a meeting on Wednesday with deputy commissioner of police (traffic) M.K. Singh and CMDA officials to draw up a plan of action.
“We find many small connectors that have joined the Bypass of late. All of them are illegal and no permission was sought either from the CMDA or the police before laying the roads. Contractors, promoters and plot-owners have built the roads for easy access to the Bypass. We shall seal these illegal connectors,’’ Bhattacharya on Thursday.
The minister said traffic from the illegal connectors was forcing vehicles on the Bypass to slow down and haphazard crossing by pedestrians was leading to accidents. Bhattacharya said he had asked the police and CMDA officers to identify the illegal connectors and submit a report within a month.
“We plan to construct a service road along the Bypass, like on VIP Road, where slow-moving vehicles and pedestrians can move shorter distances, leaving the main carriageway for fast traffic. Once the service road is ready, there will be no problem in constructing connectors. But, as of now, we shall try to have as few connectors as possible,’’ the minister said.
As the Bypass was constructed and is maintained by the CMDA, officials said it is mandatory to take permission from the agency before constructing anything on the road or off it.
According to the police, at least 15 accidents have occurred on the Bypass over the past two months, and there have been at least three casualties.
According to deputy commissioner Singh, “the traffic and transportation system says that the more the road intersections, the lower the speed of vehicles. Deploying more policemen and constructing more traffic signals result in frequent halts.”
He added: “The concept of the Bypass was to facilitate swift and safe access from north to south. The illegal connectors that have come up along the road spew pedestrians, cyclists, rickshaw-vans and and all manner of slow-moving vehicles, making the Bypass an extremely accident-prone zone.”