| The Vivekananda Road flyover, currently under construction
The Calcutta Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) plans to send a proposal to the Union urban development ministry to extend the Vivekananda Road flyover till Ultadanga.
The extension would directly connect Ultadanga with Howrah and provide a fast drive to Howrah from the eastern fringes and Salt Lake.
The flyover that is now being built, under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), takes off near Girish Park and ends near the Howrah bridge.
We are preparing a detailed project report (for the extension), said a CMDA official.
The proposed extension would be 3.9km long and have four lanes. It would run through Vivekananda Road and Maniktala Main Road to reach the Kankurgachhi crossing, said officials. From there, the flyover will take a left turn along CIT Road and end near the ESI Hospital on CIT Road.
There would be two ramps near Kankurgachhi, one each for vehicles that will get down there and for those that would climb the flyover from Kankurgachhi.
Once built, the flyover will provide a fast link from Salt Lake and other parts of east Calcutta to Howrah station because there would be no need to wait at traffic lights, said Vivek Bharadwaj, the chief executive officer of CMDA.
Senior officials said they would wait till the start of the second phase of JNNURM to send the proposal to the Centre for funds. JNNURM-I was stopped in March. The Centre has announced that it would begin JNNURM-II. Hopefully, the announcement will be made in the next six months, the official said.
We are keeping the project report ready so that we can submit it as soon as JNNURM-II is announced, he added.
The extension was kept in mind while planning the first phase of the Vivekananda Road flyover between Girish Park and Howrah.
We are keeping two ramps in the first phase, from where the construction of the second phase will start, said an engineer. The second phase, however, will not begin before the first phase is thrown open to the public.
On August 7, Metro had reported that the CMDA authorities hoped to open the Girish Park-Howrah link before Durga Puja next year after missing two deadlines.
Officials said work on the extension could begin in end-2013 or early 2014 if the funds are cleared on time.
Spectrum, a Mumbai-based agency, is preparing the project report on CMDAs behalf. The agency said the estimated cost for the extension would be Rs 317 crore. CMDA officials, however, said the figure was impractical. It will take a little over Rs 400 crore, an official said.
CMDA has asked Spectrum to find out what utility lines run along the route the proposed extension will take.
The first phase got delayed because we discovered multiple utility lines after digging up the road. This time, we will start work only after doing a thorough survey, said the engineer.