Slush on the Ultadanga-bound flank of VIP Road. Workers hired by South Dum Dum Municipality remove the slush from the road. Pictures by Mayukh Sengupta
The rain that brought relief to Calcuttans from gruelling heat led to a few accidents on VIP Road which turned slippery because of the slush spilling onto the carriageway.
Mud deposited along the Ultadanga-bound flank of the artery spilled onto the road after getting wet with rainwater, making the surface slippery.
Police said three two-wheelers skidded on the stretch between Lake Town and Dum Dum Park, where one-third of the road had become dangerously slippery with slush, around 11am. One of the riders had to be taken to hospital.
“I have come to know that the slush had spilled onto the road and some two-wheelers skidded,” said Sujit Bose, the MLA of Bidhannagar.
An officer of Lake Town police station said some cars, too, skidded while passing the stretch. “Luckily none of the accidents was serious. Had it been a weekday, the incidents could have triggered a major traffic chaos,” the officer said.
Commuters said there were no warning signs or barricades to prevent vehicles from plying over the slush.
The police alerted Hidco, which is laying an underground waterline along the road. After an hour, around noon, officials from Hidco and South Dum Dum Municipality deployed men who scraped off the slush.
The municipality also sprayed water on the road to wash away the slush. The cleaning work continued beyond 4pm.
There was confusion over who had dumped the mud there. Two projects — the dredging of the Kestopur canal by the irrigation department and the laying of an underground pipeline by Hidco — are under way in the area. The mud could have been dumped by men working on either project.
MLA Bose said the canal was being dredged for over two months. “It is not possible to ferry wet mud. So the silt dredged from the canal is deposited along the road for a few days and carried away after it becomes dry,” said Bose, who is also vice-chairman of South Dum Dum Municipality.
Irrigation minister Rajib Banerjee denied that the mud was dumped by men hired by his department as the dredging of the canal along the stretch had finished long ago. “It might have been left behind by those laying an underground waterline beside the canal,” he said.
The pipe being laid will bring untreated water from the Hooghly to a treatment plant in Rajarhat, from where it will be distributed across Rajarhat.
A senior Hidco official said laying of the pipes could not have generated so much mud. “The mud that spilled onto the road after becoming wet must have been deposited by those dredging the canal,” the official said.
Have the authorities chalked out any plan if it rains again on the first working day of the week?
“We have asked our men to be on alert if slush comes onto the road again on Monday,” said a police officer.