The Telegraph
Saturday , January 11 , 2014
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Green light to south fringe flyover

The decks have been cleared for construction of the longest flyover on Calcutta’s southern fringe, a 7.5km signal-free ride over Budge Budge Trunk Road from Jinjirabazar to Batanagar.

The Mamata Banerjee government has given the green light to the Rs 255-crore two-lane elevated corridor, one of the biggest urban transportation infrastructure projects in the city after the proposed Parama-Park Circus flyover.

A consortium of companies, headed by construction major Larsen and Toubro (L&T), will build the flyover. The state urban development department has requested L&T to complete the project in 18 months.

“The Centre will release 35 per cent of the total project cost from the JNNURM scheme, while the consortium will bear the rest. The state government will provide land for the flyover. There will be plazas at both ends to collect toll,” urban development minister Firhad Hakim said on Friday.

“The flyover would be a BOT (build-operate-transfer) project under PPP (public-private partnership) scheme.”

Sources said the flyover would ease congestion on the narrow Budge Budge Trunk Road, lined with manufacturing units.

Traffic towards Mahestala crawls during peak office hours as private cars and public buses compete for space with trucks and trailers on this vital corridor for freight movement on the outskirts of the city.

“We had been pressing the state government to increase the width of Budge Budge Trunk Road, which connects Calcutta with Pujali in the south,” said an official of Budge Budge Municipality.

“It’s important to offload the traffic volume from this road… and the condition of peripheral roads is no better,” he added.

Urban development officials said all heavy vehicles driving to and from Jinjirabazar, about 10km south of the city centre, would move on the flyover and free up the main artery below for small and medium vehicles.

“The project budget includes the cost of widening and strengthening the road so that the flow of traffic could be smoother,” Hakim said.

Insiders said the government was pushing hard to complete the formalities this month itself so that L&T — the company that built the 2.9km-long AJC Bose Road flyover — could start work from February.

The government has put the Jinjirabazar flyover in its urban infrastructure and governance scheme under the JNNURM along with several other proposed projects, such as the Kamalgazi flyover to the EM Bypass and another one on Raja SC Mullick Road near Jadavpur.

Detailed project reports of all these flyovers were sent to the ministry of urban development for approval.

Senior officials were mum on the fate of the other flyovers.

They said the most plausible reason why the Jinjirabazar flyover got clearance was because the Bengal government need not pay from its pocket to build it.

The announcement came at a time all the under-construction flyovers in the city have missed their deadline.

“We are not sure about the fate of two other key flyovers, the Vivekananda Road flyover and the Park Circus-Parama flyover,” said an official. The first was supposed to be completed by 2011, while the time set for the other was August 2012.

Officials said the main issue that stopped the Parama-Park Circus flyover in its tracks was cost escalation.

The agency preparing the DPR for the Jinjirabazar flyover was told to factor in this issue along with the technical specifications.