Demolition of the Vivekananda Road flyover in northwest Kolkata entered its third phase on Thursday.
Engineers from the urban development department began pulling down a portion of the remaining structure stretching around 300 metres between Ganesh Talkies and Malapara, near the KK Tagore Street and Kalakar Street crossing in Posta. Men and machinery had moved in by Monday.
Engineers from Kolkata Municipal Development Authority (KMDA), who are overseeing the demolition work, said the stretch of the flyover, between pillars 35 and 38, will be pulled down in the third phase. The stretch will remain closed for nearly three months.
Police said a part of KK Tagore Street has been closed for the work, Buses and minibuses headed towards Shyambazar will be diverted through Strand Road North and Nimtala Ghat Street and BK Pal Avenue.
“Since Jadulal Mullick Road has cars and buses moving both ways, vehicles bound for Howrah can move down this road to reach Kalakar Street and then move further ahead along Pagaya Patty Street towards Burrabazar,” said a senior police officer. “Over the last two days, vehicles have been moving bit slower down BK Pal Avenue during peak hours because of the traffic diversion.”
With the stretch between Ganesh Talkies and Girish Park now open — this area was closed during the second phase of the flyover demolition — vehicles moving down Rabindra Sarani towards Shyambazar will be able to utilise this part of Vivekananda Road to reach Chittaranjan Avenue.
Engineers said the demolition work in the third phase is likely to be less challenging than the second since there weren’t many private buildings close to this part of the flyover.
“In the third phase we have observed there is a Shiv temple in the middle of the stretch which has been covered up. We will be shifting the temple. In the second phase, pillars stood so close to houses that demolishing them was a challenge bypassing balconies of residential buildings," said a senior official of the CMDA overseeing the demolition work.
A 41m-long deck slab of the under-construction flyover had collapsed on March 31, 2016, killing 26 people, prompting the state government to appoint a committee headed by V. K. Raina, a bridge engineer, to decide on the fate of the structure. In September 2020 the committee had recommended demolishing the entire structure.
Dismantling work began from June 2021 with the urban development department entrusting Edifice Engineering, a Mumbai-based company that specialises in demolition of built structures, to do the job.