Widening of the road, installation and repair of street lights, setting up of crash barriers and thorough repairs — Kolkata police have drawn up a list of “must dos” to make the accident-prone Basanti highway safer.
The measures, which the police hope will reduce the number of accidents on the artery, will be implemented by the public works department (PWD), officials said.
The department maintains the road that connects the city to Basanti, an island in the Sunderbans.
The highway has a long history of accidents and complaints of it being in a bad shape often surface.
In February, a traffic sergeant on duty died after his motorbike skidded over a cratered stretch of the highway.
“There have been several incidents of vehicles plunging into the canal that runs parallel to the highway on several stretches. We have proposed setting up crash barriers at those points,” said a senior police officer.
“We have also proposed widening of the road and setting up a median divider. That will reduce accidents caused by overtaking.”
The Basanti highway is nearly 40 feet wide and vehicles moving at high speed often tend to overtake.
Officers said there have been several instances of head-on collisions resulting in deaths because of reckless attempts to overtake on the road.
The proposals also include installation of street lights and repair of the defunct ones.
A recent survey has revealed that traffic has grown by almost 30 per cent on the Basanti highway over the last few years as the city has been expanding along the southern suburbs.
Senior officials of the PWD’s highway division said the expansion of the Basanti highway was not immediately possible because of land issues.
Engineers from the road safety wing of the department will soon visit the highway to draw up an estimate of the work involved before the repair and installation of street lights start.
“The crash barriers will be pre-fabricated and will be set up side by side along specific stretches where the bends are sharp and the road runs parallel to a canal,” said a senior PWD official.