The Telegraph
Thursday , January 17 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Track crack and snarl halt traffic

Barricades to prevent entry of vehicles into RR Avenue

A crack in a track near MG Road Metro station slowed trains and people who chose to travel by road to escape the rush underground were stumped by a rally in the heart of Calcutta on Wednesday.

Trains ran 5-7 minutes behind schedule for more than half an hour from 11.50am, leading to severe overcrowding. The hairline crack, resulting from contraction and expansion because of temperature variation, was spotted on the southern side of MG Road station.

The south-bound service was affected from 11.50am and normality returned at 1.27pm. Since the service was not suspended, engineers had to repair the cracks in the intervals between two trains, said a Metro official.

The after-effects could be felt long after the normal schedule was restored.

Those who opted to travel overground to avoid the crowded trains got caught in snarls as traffic across central Calcutta slowed to a crawl. Rani Rashmoni Avenue had to be closed from noon to 3.30pm because of a rally, resulting in snarls on SN Banerjee Road, Lenin Sarani, CR Avenue and Red Road. People started arriving at the rally site through SN Banerjee Road, CR Avenue and Mayo Road from 11am.

Traffic, which had been slow for several hours from noon, came to a standstill after the rally ended.

Traffic from SN Banerjee Road had to be diverted through Mayo Road and Esplanade East. The biggest casualty of the diversion was movement on CR Avenue. I am stranded at Esplanade for over 20 minutes, said trader Sharad Singh, who had boarded a taxi near the BB Ganguly Road crossing.