Patchwork repairs of the pothole-ridden EM Bypass began late on Sunday on the stretch between Ruby hospital and Ambedkar bridge, which stands over a canal near Science City.
Over the next few days, the repair of the remaining stretch of the Bypass, from Ambedkar bridge to the Parama flyover and further up to Chingrighata, will be taken up in phases at night, engineers said.
If there is heavy rain, the work will have to be stopped.
The potholes are being filled with readymade hotmix of bitumen.
Police had urged the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) for urgent repairs in the wake of a spate of accidents.
“We have decided to work through the night when the traffic is comparatively thinner because of the pandemic restrictions on night movement of vehicles,” said a senior engineer of the KMDA.
“A detailed list of the stretches that need repair throughout the Bypass is with us and we will proceed in phases, provided it doesn’t rain heavily.”
The Bypass, particularly the stretch between Parama and Ruby, has emerged as a threat to motorists, especially to those riding two-wheelers who find it difficult to negotiate some of the craters that have grown bigger in the past week.
“In at least seven incidents, motorcyclists have had a close shave after they fell on potholes and injured themselves,” said a senior police officer overseeing traffic in Lalbazar. “On a busy stretch of EM Bypass, the difference between injury and death is thin. So, we had requested the KMDA to start work as early as possible.”
Around 2.30pm on Saturday, 58-year-old Anand Kumar Waghwani of East Jadavpur suffered several injuries after he fell from his motorcycle while trying to avoid a pothole on EM Bypass, near the approach to the Ambedkar bridge.
Officers of Tiljala police station got Waghwani admitted to a nursing home nearby with a fractured leg.
Two days earlier, around 8pm on Thursday, Susmita Jain, 31, had injured herself after she fell from her scooter trying to ride past a crater near Panchannagram.
On Wednesday, 30-year-old Raju Seikh of Narendrapur had injured his left leg after he fell from his motorcycle around 1.30pm at the same spot in Panchannagram. Seikh was admitted to hospital.
KMDA engineers said there were certain points on this stretch of the Bypass where the subsidence of soil was higher compared to the rest, and as a result, water seeps down faster.
“When water seeps from subsoil to the layer immediately below, the bonding between materials starts to loosen, resulting in potholes,” the engineer said.
“Hopefully, the new layer of bitumen will stop such seepages, at least for the time being.”