The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Repair of tram tracks jams traffic
- Police plan to divert vehicles comes a cropper

Calcutta, April 7: Weekend traffic in central Calcutta was thrown out of gear today after Central Avenue was shut down at the BB Ganguly Street intersection to north- and south-bound vehicles for concretisation of tram tracks.

While Shyambazar-bound traffic struggled for road space after being diverted along Bentinck Street and Rabindra Sarani from Esplanade, south-bound vehicles, particularly buses and minibuses, suffered most with a large number trying to move down Bidhan Sarani, College Street and Nirmal Chunder Street to Esplanade.

“The stretch from Central Avenue to the intersection of College Street and Nirmal Chunder Street down BB Ganguly Street caters to a huge volume of traffic,” said a senior officer of Sealdah Traffic Guard. “Commuters will have to suffer for another day. We hope to open Central Avenue by Monday morning.”

Work on concretisation was kept on hold as it was suggested that the three-day holiday of Good Friday, Saturday and Sunday would be the best as government offices would remain closed and volume of traffic was expected to be low.

“We thought that by diverting Esplanade-bound traffic down Vivekananda Road, we could manage the flow. But we never gauged the huge volume of traffic that would have to be diverted. After some time, things became difficult to handle,” said a traffic officer.

After a meeting at the police headquarters, senior officers led by Jawed Shamim, the DC (traffic), decided to keep on hold the next phase of concretisation of the tracks along Lalbazar Street from BB Ganguly-Central Avenue crossing.

“Nirmal Chunder Street is not fit to take the huge volume of diverted traffic. If it has to, adjoining roads with tram tracks, including Lenin Sarani, should be used to make traffic movement faster,” said a senior traffic officer. “So, in the next phase, the tracks along Lenin Sarani would be taken up for concretisation.”

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