Traffic on the major arterial road in New Town went haywire on Monday morning after the Rabindra Tirtha crossing and the flanks converging there were suddenly closed to traffic. The reason? To erect a towering steel gate at the intersection. Police said the Kolkata Gate project would require that stretch of the road to be blocked for at least a month. Metro highlights what this entails for traffic along the most-preferred route to and from the airport
The Rabindra Tirtha crossing that remained out of bounds for traffic on Monday; (inset) the traffic diversion plan
Kolkata Gate (picture above) would be all steel and tower over all structures in the vicinity at a height of 55m, a Hidco official said. The four “legs” of the gate would be placed on concrete structures at the traffic island.
The top of the gate will have a circular viewing gallery made of steel and strengthened glass, offering a panoramic view of the township to visitors. The main structure is pre-fabricated and is ready for installation.
A section of the arterial road spanning a radius of around 1km from the Rabindra Tirtha crossing has been cordoned off on all four sides. Traffic headed towards the Unitech crossing from Salt Lake and Sector V is being diverted left to a lane near Senior Citizen’s Park and then onto Street No. 165, which leads to BF Block (picture above).
Motorists have to drive down for 50m before turning right towards BF Block. The road straightens after that, running parallel to the main artery until the two meet opposite Hidco Bhavan.
Vehicles have to cross both flanks of the thoroughfare and travel down Street No. 327 before taking a right at the T-junction near the Institute of Pulmocare and Research, from where a 220m drive leads to the Techno India crossing. Anyone going towards the Unitech intersection needs to turn left, keeping Ohio Hospital on the right.
Someone driving towards the airport from Salt Lake would need to take the same diversion near Senior Citizen’s Park and turn left from opposite Hidco Bhavan. Traffic going towards the Unitech intersection from the airport is being diverted left from near Hidco Bhavan onto Street No. 327 (picture below). Vehicles then have to follow the same route as those going towards Salt Lake.
But those headed for Salt Lake from the airport have to take a U-turn from near Tata Medical Center and go left from near Mizoram House before travelling down the back lanes to get onto the main artery near Novotel.
On Monday, nobody seemed to have a clue where to go. Engineer Partha Sarathi Chakraborty, who works in a multinational company in New Town, needed more than two hours to reach Unitech from the Technopolis crossing. The drive usually lasts 12 minutes. “There was no signage ahead of the diversion to inform motorists of the change in route. I thought the main road had been closed because of an accident,” he said.