Good news for motorists caught up in seemingly interminable snarl-ups after zipping across the new flyover. The transport department has decided to perform multiple surgeries on the approaches to the bridge over Park Circus railway station and the AJC Bose Road flyover to take care of the jams that have become a regular feature at the Park Circus crossing.
The plans, to be implemented jointly at a cost of about Rs 2 crore by the Hooghly River Bridge Commissioners (HRBC) and the Calcutta Municipal Corporation, involve construction of a slip road connecting the bridge and Biresh Guha Street, and broadening New Park Street and Dilkhusha Street, the two roads carrying most of the traffic to and from the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass. Most formalities are over and work begins on the ground after the rains.
“Traffic movement at the several-point crossing near bridge no. 4 is gradually increasing,” chief traffic and transport engineer B.K. Sadhu said. Congestion has become a regular feature as vehicles from all directions have to wait for at least four signals to pass the crossing.
Besides, New Park Street and Dilkhusha Street are too narrow to handle the inevitable rush, what with the Bypass on one side and the new flyover on the other.
“Vehicles coming from the northern and eastern parts of the city and Salt Lake reach bridge no. 4 at 40-kph-plus speeds but then slow down while approaching the crossing,” Sadhu said, admitting that the stretch had become a “motorist’s nightmare”.
According to a state transport department survey, 55,000 to 60,000 vehicles touch the crossing during peak hours daily, most of them coming from the E.M. Bypass.
Calcutta Police recently held meetings with the state transport department to sort out the problem. The whole purpose of the new flyover was being lost, state transport minister Subhas Chakraborty commented. What emerged was the need for a slip road that would take south-bound vehicles away from the bridge towards Biresh Guha Street before they reached the crossing at the end of the bridge.
Another solution was widening New Park Street and Dilkhusha Street. Officials said this would not be a problem because no building was situated in the triangular plot separating the two roads. There were a few shops but the officials appeared confident that the shop-owners would willingly move to the proposed market complex to be built off Biresh Guha Street.
Minister Chakraborty, however, said: “The situation on all approaches to the other flyovers is similarly chaotic. Plans for a major realignment of traffic on all approach roads are being chalked out.”