The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Way above, waterworld below

Two brand new flyovers, a just-widened road and a large, redesigned traffic island complete with gleaming signposts — all pointers to a smooth ride, right'

The optimism is in danger of being drowned in the first monsoon since the commissioning of the AJC Bose Road flyover and the widening of Gariahat Road.

The artery between the Park Circus island and Gariahat junction face the fear of flooding as a fallout of faulty relaying of the stretch and reconstruction of the drainage system.

Monday’s shower exposed the vulnerability of neighbourhoods adjoining the flyover and the re-laid road — from Syed Amir Ali Avenue to Beckbagan to Singhi Park — with rainwater refusing to subside.

“We are in a fix, because the faults cannot be remedied during the monsoon,” said Mala Roy, member of the mayoral council overseeing city drainage and sewerage, passing the blame buck to the Hooghly River Bridge Commissioners (HRBC). “Residents of these neighbourhoods will suffer more after a heavy shower,” she warned.

Civic engineers pointed out that the road connecting the Park Circus island and Gariahat had been widened without realigning the underground drainage at the Park Circus end, where the flooding was at its worst.

At the Gariahat end, under the flyover, the water stood stagnant for want of an outlet that should have been created in the first place.

“What was needed was a manhole at the crossing, but someone forgot,” observed Roy.

On the Park Circus side, the roadside gully pits, after the widening of the stretch, are now in the middle of the road, with no manholes to drain the accumulated water.

At the Park Circus seven-point crossing, the gully pits of the peripheral roads had come to the middle, following the commissioning of the AJC Bose Road flyover.

Swapan Dattagupta, special officer (transportation infrastructure development), said the underground sewer lines at the junction of Gariahat Road and Rashbehari Avenue had been shifted at random for the construction of the Gariahat flyover.

The HRBC had assured restoration of the sewer system after the commissioning of the flyover, but civic officials alleged that was not done.

In the Gariahat zone, the small sewer lines coming out from Hindustan Park, Dover Lane and other streets had been joined below the main underground sewer running along Gariahat Road.

“All these errors have impeded the draining out of run-off water after a heavy shower,” summed up Dattagupta.

On condition of anonymity, a senior HRBC executive said work on restoration of the sewer line under the Gariahat Road and at the Park Circus seven-point crossing would be taken up after Durga Puja.

Till then, residents and commuters from Gariahat to Park Circus cannot be blamed for a sinking feeling along fault lines.

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