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Thursday , October 28 , 2010
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Flyover delay toll on traffic
- Deadline over but projects months from completion

Infrastructure projects in the city start with fanfare but the enthusiasm fizzles out even before the first brick is laid. Two such projects, which could decongest key stretches, have missed their deadlines and still show no sign of coming to life. The delay seems to be causing more traffic problems than the completed flyovers can solve. Here are the project reports

Vivekananda Road flyover

Plan: The flyover was planned in two phases. The first phase from Howrah bridge to Girish Park, the second from Girish Park to the airport.

Purpose: The first phase of the flyover is supposed to ensure traffic flow from Howrah to north Calcutta and the eastern fringes.

Project cost: Rs 150 crore

Executing Agency: Calcutta Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA)

Work started: Work on the first phase of the flyover started before the 2009 general elections after the CMDA had laid the foundation stone for the project twice. The work was stalled soon after because of engineering faults.

Deadline: In March 2009, the then chief secretary, Ashok Mohan Chakrabarti, had said the first phase of the flyover would be completed in 18 months, which elapsed in September.

Progress: Metro found barely 15 per cent of the work had been completed. A few pillars have come up between the Girish Park crossing and Ganesh Talkies. Two more pillars are being erected. A part of KK Tagore Street has been barricaded restricting traffic flow. Traffic on the congested stretch and in Posta is being affected.

A handful of labourers were working at a snail’s pace at the site. Their body language suggested that the agency was not in a hurry to complete the project.

When can it open: Given the pace of work, few would hazard a guess. According to CMDA officials, it will take another year and a half to complete the first phase.

Official word: “The flyover has been delayed because it is difficult to work on the stretch. Working during the day is extremely difficult,” said CMDA chief and municipal affairs minister Asok Bhattacharya.

Nagerbazar flyover

Plan: From Satgachhi to Gorabazar along Jessore Road. A ramp was supposed to descend on Dum Dum Road.

Purpose: The aim is to decongest Nagerbazar and ensure smooth traffic flow to and from the airport and Dum Dum station complex. The flyover could also aid movement of vehicles between NH34 and Barrackpore Trunk Road.

Project cost: Rs 50 crore

Implementing agency: South Dum Dum Municipality, HRBC and the transport department are together executing the project.

Work started: Work on the 2km flyover started in November 2008.

Deadline: The flyover was to have been ready in 18 months, which elapsed in May this year.

Progress: Despite missing the deadline, work at the site is at best sluggish. Only eight pillars have come up.

When can it open: HRBC engineers at the site said at least 15 more months would be needed to complete the flyover.

Official word: The deadline was unrealistic, said South Dum Dum Municipality chairperson Anjana Rakshit.

“The huge delay is because of the volume of traffic and the number of pedestrians who use the stretch. HRBC has assured us that it would start work in full swing after Kali Puja and complete the flyover in three months,” said Rakshit.

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