Driving to or from the airport promises to become swifter and smoother — even without taking the road through Rajarhat — thanks to a twin-flyover project.
Following a nod from the Centre for the Rs 40-crore plan to fly over Ultadanga , Calcutta could be 20 months away from minimising the traffic mess at least one chaotic crossroad.
For Bengal’s first transport infrastructure project to be implemented with the National Urban Renewal Mission funds, the Centre will provide 35 per cent of the project cost while the rest will be funded by CMDA, the implementing agency.
“We won the Centre’s approval last week and are keen to start work for the flyover within a couple of months with a target to complete it within 18 months,’’ urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya told Metro.
According to the plan, the one-km flyover with two separate wings will start from near the intersection of EM Bypass and Salt Lake Road and terminate on VIP Road near Sreebhumi, and vice versa.
If residents of Salt Lake want to take the flyover, they must emerge from the second entry-exit point of the township. The whole point is to ease the traffic load on the key Ultadanga crossing and ease the traffic flow in the zone.
“There will be no problem in implementing the project within the proposed time frame as no land acquisition is needed. Besides, the flyover will be made of pre-fabricated steel structure to be placed on standalone pillars,’’ explained Bengal-CES director Samiran Sen.
The urban development department had earlier built a slip road connecting VIP Road with EM Bypass, but that has proved most inadequate, with an estimated vehicular count of 15,000 per hour at the Ultadanga crossing.
“The slip road from VIP Road towards Salt Lake is another instance of myopic planning. Addressing a minuscule part of the problem rather than the problem itself has been a perennial problem,” observed a veteran traffic planner, approving of the present flyover programme.
The department had submitted detailed project reports of the two schemes drawn up by Bengal-CES, a joint venture company with Consulting Engineering Services and WBIDC — the flyovers and widening of EM Bypass up to Baruipur.
The Centre has approved the flyover scheme while the state government has withdrawn the Bypass-widening plan as this would be implemented by the Salim Group as part of the Baruipur township project, confirmed minister Bhattacharya.