The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Flyover debut spells doom for arteries

-30 trees have been chopped to widen Camac Street into six lanes

-20 trees have been chopped for widening DL Khan Road and SN Pandit Street into five lanes

-Police propose to bisect the traffic island opposite Fort William to create a slip road connecting Casuarina Avenue and Outram Road for Park Street-bound traffic from the flyover

-Improving the condition of various arterial approach roads to the flyover. For instance, Hospital Road, Harish Mukherjee Road, Dufferin Road, SN Pandit Road and Elgin Road

A crucial stretch of the city can look forward to freer flow of traffic from Independence Day, while others could become slaves to snarls far worse than today.

If things fall into place on schedule, the AJC Bose Road flyover will be thrown open to traffic on August 15. This is expected to speed up traffic movement from both the Park Circus and Rabindra Sadan ends. But it will also add to the chaos in a host of arterial roads off AJC Bose Road, lying neglected while the flyover has been coming up over the past few years.

Traffic planners have just woken up to the fact that a detailed blueprint on widening and streamlining of the arterial roads which must handle the spillover cars, besides taking care of the new traffic configurations, had actually formed a part of the flyover project but had been buried under a heap of files.

“According to the blueprint, a sum of Rs 34 crore has been set aside for widening roads, building slip roads and a host of other traffic engineering work that would ensure smooth movement of traffic around the flyover,” said joint secretary, transport, Prashant, who has recently been put in charge of monitoring the construction of the flyover.

“Unfortunately, nothing has been done and a horror story is waiting to unfold in the roads off the flyover,” warned deputy commissioner (traffic) M.K. Singh.

With the flyover in place, traffic planners expect vehicles from south Calcutta to take the flyover from the Park Circus end. But it is at the Maidan end that a bottleneck is almost inevitable. “Now, almost all vehicles travelling to Dharamtala take the Park Street route,” said Singh. “After August, Dharamtala can be reached much faster via the flyover and the Maidan. So, traffic at the Maidan end will multiply.”

Hence, the decision to widen DL Khan Road and Sambhunath Pandit Street, which will handle the south-bound traffic, as well as creating a slip road from Casuarina Avenue to Outram Road to speed up cars moving down the Maidan to Dharamtala.

Camac Street, officials explained, must be widened as it is already overcrowded with a number of shopping stops and offices. And in the post-flyover era, too, cars to and from Lansdowne Road will continue to use Camac Street.

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