| CIT Road, in Ultadanga, on which a massive crater has appeared. Picture by Amit Datta
The water has receded, only to expose cratered carriageways.
The city roads became visible on Friday after remaining submerged for 72 hours, but motorists had a nightmarish, even life-threatening, experience driving on them.
Among the most risky thoroughfares were CIT Road (the stretch from Ultadanga to Kankurgachhi), VIP Road, APC Road (near Rajabazar) and Rabindra Sarani. The underpasses, too, should be avoided.
“I brought out my car after three days, but got the shock of my life while driving,” said Supratim Roy Chowdhury, who lives near the PNB crossing in Salt Lake.
“I took CIT Road, a decision that I am still regretting. There was suddenly a huge jerk, as the front wheels of my car fell into a large crater. It could have led to an accident. I was driving at a high speed because I knew the stretch was smooth. Not factoring in the post-deluge possibility was a big mistake,” he added.
The traffic department of the city police agreed that most accidents in this situation occur because of the sudden change in the road condition.
“Motorists were accustomed to the roads as they were before the rain. They have no clue to the havoc wreaked by the downpour and waterlogging,” said Ranvir Kumar, the joint commissioner of police (traffic).
Motor spares trader Mohammad Idris, a resident of Rajabazar, said: “Driving is now hellish on the APC Road stretch from the Rajabazar crossing to the Sealdah flyover.”
The traffic department is preparing a list of roads on which craters have appeared. “We will send the list to the Calcutta Municipal Corporation authorities and request them to start repairs at the earliest,” said an officer of the traffic department.
Tuhin Bera, the mayoral council member (roads), said patchwork has already begun. “For thorough repairs, we need at least three sunny days. Let the sky clear, we will swing into action.”
Even on VIP Road, where a 25-ft stretch caved in on Thursday, the civic authorities would not undertake thorough repairs now. “But we will try our best to ensure patchwork restores the road to its earlier condition.”