A slip road that allows vehicles approaching the airport from the north to bypass the traffic congestion on VIP Road was inaugurated on Monday. It will be opened to traffic on March 4.
“Vehicles can now enter the airport directly from Jessore Road, via Airport Road. Fliers will thus be able to avoid the congestion at the VIP Road-Jessore Road and VIP Road-Airport Road crossings,” said V.K. Monga, the director of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport.
“The launch of the 30m long, one-way slip road is the first step towards clearing the traffic chaos in and around the airport and part of the larger plan of modernisation and expansion,” he added
Another slip road — linking VIP Road to Airport Road — is slated to be ready by the end of March. It will allow vehicles on VIP Road to reach the airport without congesting the Jessore Road crossing.
Inaugurating the slip road, MP Amitava Nandi said: “The two slip roads were proposed in a meeting between the Airport Advisory Committee, police and the public works department. The suggestions were conveyed to the Airports Authority of India and a proposal was sent to Delhi.”
Work left on the slip road, such as levelling of drains and construction of a rotary, will be completed before March 4, added Nandi.
The MP emphasised that the two slip roads would reduce the traffic load at the northern end of VIP Road, making access to the airport easier.
“Snarls on VIP Road were causing a lot of problems and this is the first step towards solving them,” said Dipak Bhattacharya, the chairman of Dum Dum Municipality.
“Illegal shops and other encroachments had sprung up on Jessore Road. They had to be removed to build the slip road. The local authorities concerned were co-operative and worked hard to complete the work on time,” he added.
According to traffic police, about 16,000 vehicles, including trucks, use the Jessore Road stretch between Barasat and Lake Town during peak hours (9am to 11am and 5pm to 8pm). About 700 vehicles travel the stretch at other times of the day.
Once both slip roads are functional, some vehicles will be able to avoid the VIP Road-Jessore Road intersection, moving from Jessore Road to VIP Road through Airport Road.