As part of the scheme to put Calcutta's burgeoning traffic on the fast track, the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government has initiated a slew of measures, including upgrade of Barrackpore Trunk (BT) Road.
A Rs 18-crore scheme has been readied for the revamp of BT Road, including widening of a 5.3-km stretch from Dunlop to Sodepur, on the city's northern fringes.
There will also be a Rs 4-crore project to widen PWD Road, from the Dunlop crossing to Sabedabagan, near Dakshineswar, to expedite movement of Calcutta-bound vehicles that will descend from the second Vivekananda bridge (under construction).
'A survey by RITES in 2001 had suggested that traffic on BT Road would increase manifold over the next few years and the artery needed to be widened from four to six lanes,' said a public works department (PWD) official.
The 5.52-km stretch from Shyambazar to Dunlop has already been widened to six lanes. It's now the turn of the stretch to the north of Dunlop.
According to another survey, by Bengal CES in 2005, around 2,500 vehicles ply on BT Road daily from Shyambazar to Barrackpore between 10.30 am and 11.30 am.
During the same period, the Dunlop crossing witnesses a traffic flow of around 6,700 vehicles. The figure is likely to go up to 14,000 by 2023.
'The survey shows that traffic between Calcutta and Barrackpore is burgeoning. Vehicles descending from the second Vivekananda bridge will hit the thoroughfare, via PWD Road. Also, Barrackpore-bound traffic from Calcutta will use this stretch. Hence, the decision of widening BT Road,' the official explained.
The PWD will also build a 1.5-metre-wide footpath on either side of the road and instal traffic signalling systems at major crossings. Work on improving the six-km-long drainage channel along the stretch, too, will be taken up.
Another Rs 70 lakh will be spent on constructing bus bays and roadside stands for taxis, autorickshaws and trucks. For repair and widening of the median verge, there is an allotment of Rs 20 lakh.
Election hurdles over, tenders will be floated soon and work is likely to start after the monsoon. Officials estimate the project will continue for around 18 months.
For the benefit of Calcutta-bound vehicles descending from the second Vivekananda bridge, the PWD Road will be widened from 14 metres to between 28 and 30 metres.
Of the proposed eight lanes, two will be reserved for vehicles from the Dunlop intersection ascending the Vivekananda bridge, two for Dunlop-bound vehicles and the rest for Dakshineswar-bound ones.
The cost of the project, which entails relocation of a few PWD offices and some other government utilities, has been estimated to be around Rs 4 crore. Work will start before the monsoon and be over in five months.