The AJC Bose Road flyover will be inaugurated on Tuesday, but the stretch below, which was to be made operational along with the high road, remains a nightmare for both motorists and pedestrians.
The entire stretch — from Rabindra Sadan to the Park Circus seven-point crossing — continues to be one to avoid, with potholes, craters and muddy patches. Large parts of the stretch, like Minto Park to Camac Street and the AJC Bose Road-Chowringhee Road crossing to SSKM Hospital, are closed completely to vehicles. Only small vehicles are being allowed into Hungerford Street and only one side of Circus Avenue, till Beckbagan, is open.
Buses headed for Moulali are being diverted through Ashutosh Mukherjee Road, Hazra Road or Sarat Bose Road, on to AJC Bose Road. Only one lane is open on most other stretches of AJC Bose Road, with both east and west-bound traffic being squeezed into a single lane.
There is little chance of the roads, ravaged since construction of the flyover began on March 15, 2001, being set right before the end of November. “We have postponed construction of roads below the flyover as the rains would have caused considerable damage and further delayed laying of the bituminous surface,” explained state transport department joint secretary Prashant. Work of laying bituminous cover on this stretch will begin on September 15 and continue till November 30.
The Rs 177.73-crore flyover will, however, be completely “ready for use” from Wednesday, as the government has decided to organise Tuesday’s inaugural function on the flyover, instead of a spot close to it. Earlier scheduled for inauguration on Independence Day, the opening had to be pushed back by four days after the rains delayed work.
Only the lane of the flyover carrying east-bound traffic — the Rabindra Sadan to Park Circus route — will be thrown open from Tuesday. The pandal for the function will be dismantled by the next day and vehicles will be allowed to hit the high road from Wednesday.
“We had thought of organising the inaugural function at Rabindra Sadan, but later decided it should be held on the flyover itself,” said Prashant. The inaugural function for the Gariahat flyover was held at Nazrul Mancha.
Road repairs below the Gariahat flyover and improvement work at Esplanade are also pending. While the flyover has been open for over a year now, the government has set another deadline for the work left on the Gariahat stretch and at Esplanade — March 31, 2004, two years beyond the scheduled date of completion.