Thousands of vehicles headed to the 45th International Kolkata Book Fair in Salt Lake’s Central Park are choking roads of the township every day from the afternoon even as police try various strategies to ease the congestion.
A traffic plan drawn up by the police has been in place around the fairground and more than 50 cops are deployed daily to manage traffic but the sheer numbers of cars and two-wheelers headed to the fair make approaching Central Park from any side a test of patience.
On Sunday evening, it took close to half-an-hour to travel from the 206 bus stand to the Karunamoyee bus stand, a distance of 2.1km. It usually takes seven minutes to cover the stretch.
A senior officer of the Bidhannagar commissionerate said the huge number of vehicles headed towards Central Park, post-afternoon, was slowing down traffic on multiple roads in the township, especially near Central Park.
An officer of the commissionerate’s traffic wing said more than 1,000 vehicles were headed for Central Park in an hour on the weekend during the book fair hours.
The police are not allowing any vehicle to stop in front of the fairground’s gates. Autorickshaws are being allowed to stop only to let passengers get off. Signage has been installed to mark alighting points for passengers of app cabs and taxis.
“We are not allowing any vehicle to stop and wait for passengers in front of any of the gates of the fairground,” said the officer.
The cops are diverting vehicles whenever they find the approach roads to the Karunamoyee intersection were getting clogged.
Those headed for the fair in personal cars are parking their vehicles beside Vidyut Bhavan or a plot near Tank No. 9 in DJ block.
During rush hours, the police are using ropes and loudhailers to direct pedestrians.