Brief respite from snarls
New Alipore: Thinner traffic on Monday because of the bandh over fuel prices reduced the commuting time between Behala Tram Depot and Chetla, a distance of 4km, by almost an hour and a half compared to the logjam in the aftermath of the Majerhat bridge collapse.
Metro, which had travelled that stretch by autorickshaw and car on three consecutive days starting Wednesday, compares the chaos of that week with the respite on Monday.
Wednesday, an hour and 35 minutes: Diamond Harbour Road in Behala was congestion-free, mainly because buses coming from Thakurpukur had been diverted through MG Road and Tollygunge. But once the auto took a right to enter James Long Sarani, anarchy reigned.
A left turn would have allowed the vehicle to move along James Long Sarani before hitting SN Roy Road or Sahapur Road towards New Alipore. But that option was blocked.
Vehicles channeled into Roy Bahadur Road took more than an hour to cross the stretch till Buroshibtala Main Road - the gateway to New Alipore - and enter SN Roy Road to reach the New Alipore crossing.
Thursday, two hours: A repeat of Wednesday, the only difference being that the auto avoided the Durgapur bridge. It instead zigzagged through lanes in the Chetla Lock Gate area near the Tolly canal to reach Peary Mohan Roy Road.
Friday, an hour and 40 minutes: The car was able to take a right turn from Diamond Harbour Road onto Nalini Ranjan Avenue just before the broken Majerhat bridge. The queue of buses, cars and motorbikes seemed never-ending. Several commuters got off buses and started walking towards New Alipore. A traffic sergeant tried in vain to make way for an ambulance.
Monday, 35 minutes: Crossing Diamond Harbour Road was a breeze. The only problem point was Tram Depot, thanks to a CPM rally. The usual right turn to hit Sahapur Road was closed, so our car took Nalini Ranjan Avenue.
Senior police officers were stationed near the Alipore Road crossing to ensure traffic kept moving. Esplanade-bound vehicles turned left to take Raja Santosh Road and Burdwan Road to reach Judges Court Road.