Triple whammy... and then the rain

Flyover farce

The Vivekananda Road flyover that was supposed to be the answer to north Calcutta's traffic chaos has been in the making for more than six years. Worse, construction activity has reduced the width of Vivekananda Road at many places.

Friends Pooja Kulthia and Pooja Pasari, who live in Posta, said they had resigned themselves to snarls being a constant presence in their lives. "The road is so narrow near Posta that snarls are unavoidable. Our lives have become miserable," said Kulthia.

Trucks loading or unloading goods near the Posta market further reduce the width of the road. Evenings are particularly bad because many vehicles from Howrah take this road to reach north and east Calcutta.

The incomplete Parama-Park Circus flyover is to the busy Park Circus-Bypass connector what the Vivekananda Road flyover is to Posta and its surrounding areas: an everyday irritant. Metro malaise

There was a time when everything else failed, the Metro rail would ensure that commuters reached their destinations. It still is Calcutta's transport lifeline, albeit not as reliable.

Snags and delays have become so common that barely a week passes without Metro services being disrupted. On Wednesday, there were three such disruptions: at 8.51am, 1.13pm and 2pm.

A Dum Dum-bound AC train had to be evacuated at Gitanjali (Naktala) at 8.51am after the rake failed to obtain electricity from the third rail. Trains ran between Dum Dum and Tollygunge for a while and the ripple effect lasted more than an hour.

At 1.13am, a problem in a door halted another Dum Dum-bound AC train for over five minutes at Netaji Bhavan. The problem recurred on another train on the same route at 2pm. Metro Railway stopped displaying train timings at platforms from 2pm for some time to avoid confusion.

Rain rage

A rainy July has compounded the city's woes. Not only have the roads taken a beating, many traffic signals cease to work whenever there is a downpour. "It took me 25 minutes to reach Jorasanko from Esplanade (around 2.6km)," a former bank official said on Wednesday afternoon.

And if there's a rally to add to the rain like the Shahid Divas congregation led by Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday, god save the martyrs on the street.


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