Fifteen minutes from Shyambazar to Delhi Road was the aim of the Rs 104-crore project to speed up traffic in the Dunlop zone. That will remain a pipe dream as a flyover vital to the ambitious project has been grounded for being 'unfeasible' and 'unnecessary'.
The PWD has decided to drop the 1,600-metre flyover over the busy Dunlop intersection. Starting near Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), the 40-ft flyover was to have sailed over the Dunlop railway bridge, descending 500 metres beyond the intersection. (Grab on right shows Metro report, dated March 31.)
According to project consultants Consulting Engineering Services (CES), the flyover would have provided uninterrupted passage over the congested crossroad.
'CES has given us a preliminary project report (PPR), pegging the cost at Rs 106 crore. However, according to our engineers, the flyover proposed over Dunlop railway bridge cannot be implemented,' said PWD minister Kshiti Goswami.
'The flyover is neither feasible nor required,' added a PWD official. It has to be at least 35 ft high to clear the Dunlop rail bridge, for which we will need clearance from the railways. Secondly, five major water supply pipelines run beneath BT Road and we cannot undertake such a major project without disrupting them.'
The government is almost sure that neither autorickshaws nor buses ' which have been taken into account by CES in its traffic projections ' will use the flyover if it comes up and BT Road will remain as congested as ever with slow-moving vehicles.
Officials maintained that the cost of this part of the project (Rs 59 crore) had nothing to do with the decision to fell the flyover.
The Dunlop intersection will become an even more vital link to the city once the second Vivekananda Bridge is ready.
Arrangements at the Dunlop intersection will now comprise a 650-metre right-turn flyover, starting near the second Vivekananda Bridge approach at Sabedabagan and touch down on BT Road near ISI.
The flyover will mainly be used by vehicles coming from Dakshineswar and headed towards Shyambazar.
The government will also widen 500 metres of PWD Road (from Sabedabagan to BT Road) to eight lanes in a Rs 3-crore project, by the end of the year. BT Road will be widened to six lanes from Dunlop to Sodepur at a cost of Rs 20 crore.
The PWD department later plans to construct a two-lane, Rs 4.5-crore underpass at Dunlop Bridge to ease the 'constriction' underneath.
'But we're not sure whether we'll be able to build the proposed slip road along Belghoria Expressway down to BT Road,' said a PWD official.
Once started, the project will take about 12 months.