The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Our roads to dusty death

Bejoy Dey, 25, was run over by a speeding vehicle on Wednesday morning. Three months ago, a 10-year-old boy was knocked down and killed. Not long before that, a 35-year-old woman lost her life in a road mishap.

All on the same stretch connecting the Bypass to Rajarhat, via Nicco Park — just one of the many death traps on the streets of Calcutta. Metro visits some killer crossroads...

Spot: The stretch between Nalban and JK Saha Bridge, leading to Salt Lake. A combination of reckless driving and lack of police presence.

Zebra crossing: Despite the high footfall count for Nicco Park and Nalban, there is no zebra crossing in sight.

Traffic management: The crucial entry point to Sector V is seldom manned by cops and the traffic kiosks are invariably empty.

Policespeak: Constables from the State Armed Police near JK Saha Bridge blame the vehicles for flouting road rules.

Knee-jerk reaction: State finance minister Asim Dasgupta said on Friday that more traffic cops would be deployed on the stretch. At present, there are 21 policemen under the additional superintendent of police, Ashoke Biswas, to oversee traffic management in Salt Lake. “I have discussed the matter with municipality chairman Biswajiban Majumdar and sub-divisional officer Tapas Chowdhury,” said the resident of Salt Lake.

Spot: Sukanta Setu-Sulekha intersection in Jadavpur. Last week, an elderly man was crushed under the wheels of a speeding CTC bus.

Zebra crossing: None. Road dividers are faulty.

Traffic management: Traffic mismanagement to blame for congestion and chaos caused by buses and autos, cycle-rickshaws and pedestrians. No traffic signal at the crossing leading to Garia-Jadavpur-Santoshpur.

Police presence: Four kiosks, no cops.

Demands: Police presence, traffic lights, brakes on auto menace, zebra crossing, proper dividers...

Spot: Bridge no. 4. Eleven mishaps and four deaths is the recent killer count.

Zebra crossing: The markings on two sides of this four-point crossing have faded.

Traffic management: When the lights turn green, the traffic often flows to and from the Bypass connector, and to and from the Darga Road end. Pedestrians cross at will, turning a blind eye to traffic lights and the fancy footbridge now bearing Sania Mirza’s cutout.

Police presence: Constables outnumbered and outfoxed by drivers and pedestrians. Only when a VIP passes does the crucial crossing become safe.

Policespeak: “We not only have to control unruly vehicular traffic but also pedestrians who insist on crossing the road when the traffic lights are green,” said a sergeant.

Spot: Ultadanga-VIP Road. Always crowded, always chaotic. All the way from Baguiati to Kankurgachhi, with Ultadanga as the epicentre. The recent road mishap count reads: 38 accidents, eight deaths.

Buses and autos stop and pick up passengers in the middle of the road.

Zebra crossing: None.

Traffic management: Trucks, buses and autos run riot in the absence of adequate police presence.

Pedestrianspeak: “The first thing the police should do is discipline the autos. Second, they should create a bigger bus stand and ensure that buses stop only there,” said a regular commuter.

Which is the most dangerous crossroad in Calcutta' Tell [email protected]

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