The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Under the flyover, it’s still go-slow

The AJC Bose Road flyover, inaugurated on August 19, may have been just four days behind schedule. But three months later, if cars on the flyover are hitting high speed, on the stretch below they can barely crawl.

Vehicles, if they are able to move at all on the bumpy road, are inching forward.

“Work on the road below the flyover ought to be completed by December,” said Sadhan Banerjee, vice-chairman of the Hooghly River Bridge Commissioners (HRBC), the implementing agency of the project, on Sunday. Earlier, the HRBC had set a November target for completing the road-repair work.

A senior official of the state transport department had said just before the commissioning of the flyover that construction of the road below had to be deferred as it would have been damaged by the rains. He had said the stretch would be ready for use by November.

But the reality is far from it. The stretch between Rabindra Sadan and the crossing of Chowringhee Road and AJC Bose Road is still closed to traffic. Work here, however, is complete.

One flank of the Chowringhee Road-AJC Bose Road crossing till the Camac Street-AJC Bose Road crossing is closed, though the other side has been kept open.

A flank of Ballygunge Circular Road to the AJC Bose Road-Minto Park crossing is also closed. Traffic from Minto Park to Hungerford Street is also restricted.

In most of these stretches, traffic from both sides are being routed through a single flank. Traffic congestion, especially during peak hours, has become a regular feature ever since work on the flyover started on March 15, 2001.

“We have divided the road from Rabindra Sadan to the Park Circus seven-point crossing into eight segments. In five of these segments, work is still on,” HRBC boss Banerjee said.

The AJC Bose Road flyover is part of a package of four flyovers — Gariahat, Cossipore and Park Street being the other three — for which the Japan Bank of International Cooperation is providing Rs 340 crore and the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government is spending another Rs 60 crore.

The flyovers at Gariahat and AJC Bose Road have already been thrown open to traffic, though work continues below them. The flyovers at Park Street and Cossipore are scheduled to be opened next year.

The projects were started on November 1, 1999, and the scheduled date of financial closure is May 29 next year.

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