Caught in the evening car crawl on EM Bypass or stumped by the traffic snarl on VIP Road while rushing to the airport' A breach in the bottleneck is in sight, with the government taking up a mega project to construct three roads leading to the airport.
The proposed roads, under the Rs 20-crore Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (Hidco) project, will run through New Town and reduce the wheel load on the Bypass, VIP Road and Basanti Road (see graphic).
'Preliminary work, including drawing, design and work schedule, has already been finalised and we have started groundwork with a target to complete the project within a year,' said Hidco chairman Goutam Deb.
Hidco has built a 10.5-km road, tentatively named Major Arterial Road I, linking the Bypass with VIP Road through New Town. This has already found many takers, but the vehicular load on the Bypass and VIP Road remains uncomfortably high.
A new 8.5-km road will link Chingrihata to Major Arterial Road I in New Town.
The second road, six km long, will join Bamanghata, on Basanti Road (near the Bantala leather complex), with Major Arterial Road I.
The third road, also six km long, will start from Bhojerhat, in Bhangar, and terminate at a rotary off Major Arterial Road I. It will also link up with the proposed Eastern Link Highway, running roughly parallel to the Bypass.
All three new roads will have 10 lanes, of which two on each side will be used as service roads for slow-moving vehicles.
'Our aim is to build a road network around the township and reduce traffic load on the Bypass and VIP Road so that vehicular speed, especially airport-bound, increases. This apart, the new roads will benefit residents of New Town,' said Deb.
Hidco officials added that commuters from further south, like Sonarpur, Baruipur and places on Basanti Road, could take the new roads to reach the airport bypassing EM Bypass and VIP Road.
According to traffic planners, VIP Road has become 'over-saturated', with 55,000 vehicles plying during every peak hour.
As a result, traffic snarls at Ultadanga, Lake Town, Kestopur, Baguiati and the VIP Road-Jessore Road crossing are regular features. And with the car count climbing steadily, things can only get worse.
Close to 15,000 vehicles now use the Major Arterial Road I, through Rajarhat, every day, taking some load off EM Bypass and VIP Road. 'The load will be a lot less after the construction of the new roads,' stressed Deb.