Work in progress on Saturday to repair EM Bypass. Picture by Bibhash Lodh
Calcutta, Aug. 23: The Calcutta Metropolitan Development Authority today began repairing EM Bypass and promised to complete the work in a week if it did not rain, after spending over a month arguing whether the state government agency or railways subsidiary RVNL should repair the road.
Engineers of the CMDA, the custodians of EM Bypass, told The Telegraph they would repair the road and fix the potholes but warned that craters could open up again if Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) didn’t do its bit.
“We have deployed nearly 150 people to repair the bypass. We’ll be able to complete the repairs in seven days if the rain god is with us,” a CMDA engineer said.
The engineer added that RVNL, which is executing the New Garia-Airport Metro project that runs through the bypass, “must ensure” that water did not accumulate in the construction area.
“The accumulated water invariably seeps underground and causes subsidence, which is largely responsible for the poor condition of the road,” he said.
During a joint inspection of EM Bypass yesterday, CMDA and RVNL officials had argued over which agency was responsible for the craters. Police had to intervene to stop the quarrel.
This afternoon, repairs began at the crossing near Silver Spring. CMDA sources said work would continue through the night. Engineers said they would try to level the road near the crossing, where one portion is higher than the other.
The engineers said work had been started simultaneously on several stretches. “The (urban development) minister has told us to repair the bypass as quickly as possible. Work will continue without break,” an engineer said.
The condition of EM Bypass has worsened during the rains, with potholes pockmarking the 3km between VIP Baazar and Ruby, the stretch near the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, and the Avishikta housing complex.
Some commuters questioned the rationale behind waiting over a month to begin the repairs.
“If they are repairing it now, why didn’t they do it before? As a commuter, I want to travel on a road that is good. The state and Union governments should sort out their problems and not make the commuters suffer,” said Satabdi Pradhan, who lives in Garia.
The CMDA had written to RVNL last month asking it to carry out the repairs but RVNL had refused, saying it was not responsible for the damage.