The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Fast-track blueprint for Bypass
- Bus bays, flyover planned to speed up traffic

Dedicated bus lanes and a flyover at the Ruby rotary are part of a Rs 250-crore state blueprint to transform the EM Bypass into a high-speed corridor.

The plan also calls for widening the stretch between Ultadanga and Parama Island to four lanes and between Parama and the Ruby rotary to three lanes. The 600-metre, Rs 17-crore flyover has been visualised from Calcutta International School to CCI Canal, near the Housing Board flats.

Named Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS), the blueprint is modelled on projects in Ahmedabad and Pune. The Centre has promised to fund the project under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. Bengal Urban Infrastructure Development Pvt Ltd, a joint venture between the state and Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd, has been asked to submit the detailed project report (DPR) within a month.

“The idea is to transform the Bypass into a corridor that will cater to the increasing vehicular traffic for years. In keeping with this, the DPR will offer the option of setting up underpasses for pedestrians to cross the road,” said Debdas Bhattacharya, the chief engineer of the traffic and transportation department of the Calcutta Metropolitan Development Authority.

“The bus bays will have fences to ensure there is no overlap of traffic,” he added. The flyover will allow “the south-bound traffic to head for Garia without being caught behind cars turning towards Gariahat”.

A senior engineer of the transport department said: “With buses moving along specified routes, the rest of the Bypass flanks will be divided into two or three lanes each, according to the speed of traffic. The project will enable the Bypass to once again become what it was originally meant to be — a high-speed corridor.”

The expansion of the Bypass has been put on hold. A new company will be awarded the contract and the work will be part of the BRTS project. The plan includes reducing the Parama rotary and culling out space for diversions.

The state has also sought the DPR for the five-km Sodepur-Dum Dum road, which will connect the airport with Kalyani, from Bengal Urban Infrastructure Pvt Ltd. The Rs 350-crore project has been hit by protests over land acquisition at Belghoria, Sodepur and Birati.

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