The Telegraph
Tuesday , August 30 , 2011
Since 1st March, 1999
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Roller-coaster ride on expressway

Kona Expressway, the crucial connector to NH2 and NH6 that lead to Delhi and Mumbai, respectively, resembles a dirt biking track at several spots on the 5km stretch between the toll plaza and Domjur.

Carrey Road resident Shweta Kejriwal, who takes the expressway to her son’s Kidderpore school and back, says: “Crossing the stretch is like negotiating an obstacle course. The car lurches so violently that it seems my organs will fall off.” Metro drives through the busy stretch where few dare to move at more than 20kmph

Near Santragachhi station Near The Gateway residential complex
The two-lane approach to the station narrows to a single lane, thanks to a crater of at least 1ft radius. Snarls are common because of the reduced road width. “Vehicles slow down as they approach the station and swerve right, messing up traffic. Vehicles moving out of the station have to wait up to 20 minutes to hit the main road,” says Panna Lal Bera, a ticket examiner at the station. The bricks below the top layer of the road can be seen. Motorists blamed the large number of trucks that move down the stretch for the damage to the carriageway. “The tyres of my car are wearing out fast because I take this road,” says a businessman on his way to his Salkia office. According to drivers, the undercarriages of small cars often hit the mounds on the road.
Near the truck terminus in Domjur Garfa bridge
The road is like a frozen wave, making vehicles bob up and down as they move forward. “Crossing the stretch is the same as riding a roller coaster. I sometimes feel like throwing up,” said Anil Bhagat, a trader who drives down the expressway daily. The two flanks merge into one and the road disappears on the 300m-long Garfa bridge. Showers have created deep craters that have been filled with stone chips. Residents said many vehicles break down on the bridge every day. The National Highways Authority of India, which is responsible for the upkeep of the expressway, has started patchwork. “We will overhaul the expressway after monsoon.”
Text: Zeeshan Jawed and Amrita Ghosh; pictures: Gopal Senapati


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