| Bondel Gate bridge after dark is a death trap for motorists. (Right): Cavernous gaps in the pavement put pedestrians at risk. Pictures by Sanjoy Chattopadhyaya
The bridge was drowned in complete darkness on Monday night. Even the handful of halogens that were visible on May 2 were missing.
Then PWD minister Amar Chowdhury had told Metro that the work of installing traffic lights is undertaken at the end of the construction process. But with elections approaching, work on the unfinished ' but open ' bridge could not be completed.
Copspeak: 'After sunset, the bridge becomes a death trap for motorists. It is also a den of criminals who take full advantage of the dark' ' a local police officer.
CMDAspeak: 'The electrical and mechanical (E&M) section of the CMDA has taken up the job of electrification and a fund of Rs 1.27 crore has been allotted. Work will start in a week' ' B.B. Bhattacharya, chief engineer, E&M section, CMDA.
The road surface continues to be patchy and uneven; the bumps and rough pockets cannot be seen in the dark. The final coat of bitumen has still not been applied.
Then PWD minister Amar Chowdhury had told Metro that work would be taken up immediately after the elections. Twenty days have passed since Team Bhattacharjee was sworn in.
'With monsoon round the corner, we will not undertake major road repairs now. We will undertake basic repairs to ensure the safety of vehicles. After the rains, we will overhaul the entire surface' ' Kshiti Goswami, new PWD minister.
At the Rifle Range Road end, there is no traffic signal or signage.
Then PWD minister Amar Chowdhury had told Metro that as soon as the elections were over, tenders would be floated to instal an automatic traffic signalling system. No sign yet.
Copspeak: 'The absence of a traffic signal at the Rifle Range Road end creates a lot of confusion amongst motorists. It is difficult to decide which channel to take' ' traffic officer on duty.
CMDAspeak: 'The bridge will soon have traffic signals on both sides. The motorists will be able to use the bridge without any fear of a head-on collision' ' B.B. Bhattacharya, chief engineer, E&M section, CMDA.
There are pavements that start on the Tiljala Road side and end in the middle of the bridge. There are cavernous gaps between two concrete slabs on the pavement and big protruding hooks.
Then PWD minister Amar Chowdhury had told Metro that work would be taken up immediately after the elections. Tell that to the pedestrian left hanging halfway on the bridge or praying that he gets off the bridge with every bone in place.
CMDAspeak: 'All construction is the responsibility of the PWD. We will immediately bring this to their notice and request them to take up the repair work' ' P. R. Baviskar, CEO, CMDA.