A central consultancy tasked with easing pedestrian and vehicle movement around the Sector V Metro station has recommended installing drop gates that are dependent on awareness and the compliance level among pedestrians.
These hydraulically operated drop gates will be integrated with the traffic signalling system at the Wipro crossing and will be operated in tandem with the signal cycles, said an official of the Nabadiganta Industrial Township Authority (NDITA), which assigned RITES to formulate the traffic plan.
Drop gates have been installed at multiple major intersections across the city in the past: Exide crossing, Burrabazar, Chingrighata and Ultadanga, to name a few.
In all these places, they have met with little success. In most places, the gates have by now become inoperational.
A senior NDITA official said they had hired RITES, a government of India enterprise, to conduct a traffic survey as pedestrian and traffic load near the station has gone up manifold resulting in traffic snarls every day.
East-West Metro trains have been running between Sector V and Phoolbagan stations for over a year.
The recent extension of the service till Sealdah has resulted in a sharp rise in passenger footfall. The number of commuters is set to escalate further once the corridor stretches till Howrah. “We have decided to formulate a traffic plan to avoid the regular snarls,” said an official.
RITES has listed 11 points in its report to NDITA as part of the proposed traffic plan. Apart from erecting pedestrian drop gates, the agency has advised the Sector V authorities to create two parking lots — one near Munshir Bheri and the other close to Chintasing Bheri near Nalban.
In order to increase last-mile connectivity between the Metro station and offices, RITES has proposed the introduction of at least four new feeder routes that can be serviced by e-rickshaws.
NDITA chairman Debashis Sen said they were going to erect drop gates in the next few days.
“We are trying to create a pedestrian channel for passengers getting off trains. Once you are inside a channel, the only way out should be through a drop gate,” Sen said.