The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Patchwork and promise washed away by rain

The Calcutta Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) had promised to repair the potholed EM Bypass before the pujas. They kept their word, but just two days of rain before Diwali washed away the “good work”, leaving behind a dangerously uneven road and craters. Metro visited some of the perilous stretches for a post-rain update

Place: The stretch between Ruby rotary and Ajoynagar.

Problems: The bitumen layer on both flanks of the road has worn thin, leading to huge craters and potholes. The hasty work has made the road so uneven that travelling on the stretch is like a roller-coaster ride.

To make things worse, patchwork on one side of the road has made the stretch bumpy, and particularly difficult for motorcyclists.

Commuters’ comment: “I have seen bikers tumble on the stretch. Many have had a close shave. A major accident is waiting to happen,” said Anup Adhikari, a security guard at Metro Cash and Carry, off the EM Bypass.

Place: The stretch between Tiljala and Parama Island.

Problems: Craters of varying diameters line the road. The stretch between Nonadanga and Tiljala is possibly the worst, with an alarming number of potholes. Loose stone chips were found all over the road, especially on the northern slope of Ambedkar bridge.

Commuters’ comment: “The road was in good shape during the pujas. However, it went back to its old state in a matter of days. Stone chips coming off the top layer are making the road perilous,” said Siddharth Dubey.

He had a lucky escape on the stretch on Sunday, when his car skidded on the stone chips and hit another car from behind.

“Both of us escaped with minor injuries but our vehicles were badly damaged,” Dubey added.

Place: Between Chingrihata and Parama Island

Problems: The top layer of the road has peeled off at various spots, forcing drivers to slow down in this high-speed corridor. The patchwork has made the road higher than the muddy sideways, posing a threat to cars and motorcycles.

Commuters’ comment: “The authorities should take steps for permanent repair of the stretch. Hasty patchwork leaves the stretch uneven and makes it difficult for motorists to drive on the high-speed stretch,” said Sangita Dutta, a resident of Garia who takes the road to reach her office in Sector V every day.

What the authorities say: – “We didn’t carry out repairs throughout the stretch. The work was done mostly between Parama Island and the Ruby rotary. However, we will run a check on the affected areas and mend them as quickly as possible,” said Ananda Ganguly, the chief engineer of the CMDA’s traffic and transport department.

A senior CMDA official pointed out that rainwater tends to seep through the bituminous surface, resulting in the top layer peeling off.

He added that after the last layer is laid, the road should have minimum traffic for at least two weeks.

But this is almost impossible on a stretch like the EM Bypass.

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