The movement of goods vehicles has been suspended indefinitely on DL Khan Road, which skirts the trauma care centre of SSKM Hospital, in south-central Kolkata police said.
The order will come into effect on Monday and all traffic guards and senior officers have been asked to draw up a detailed diversion plan.
Primarily, it has been decided that all goods vehicles headed towards the racecourse or Alipore will be directed through Tollygunge Circular Road or Asutosh Mukherjee Road in south Kolkata.
The decision to make DL Khan Road off-limits for goods vehicles comes after a 60-year-old woman was allegedly dragged around 100 metres by a compactor of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) on Saturday morning.
Maya Roy was on her way to offer puja at a temple across the road when the accident happened at the intersection of DL Khan Road and Bijoy Bose Road.
The driver escaped after the accident. The police later seized the compactor.
The death sparked protests by residents of the area who alleged that vehicles, particularly those carrying goods, often tend to speed through DL Khan Road, an artery that cuts through a densely populated pocket of south Kplkata.
Traffic movement was held up for close to an hour before senior police officers persuaded the protesters to lift the blockade.
“Some of the heavy goods vehicles could have been diverted through Zeerut Bridge and Alipore Road. But the condition of the bridge is not good enough to bear the load of goods carriers,” said a police officer.
“We have put up a barrier to restrict movement of goods vehicles over Zeerut Bridge. Some alternative routes will be finalised shortly for goods vehicles that would earlier move down DL Khan Road.”
Many residents said the lack of a traffic signal and police deployment at the intersection of DL Khan Road and Bijoy Bose Road are the reasons why the spot turns so dangerous for pedestrians.
At night and early in the morning, when there are no restrictions on the movement of goods vehicles, the artery often becomes a death trap for pedestrians, residents said.
Senior police officers, however, said the intersection had a traffic signal and a civic volunteer usually remained deployed. Officers, too, patrol the entire stretch, they said.
“A garbage vat is located off DL Khan Road and compactors do move in and out of this thoroughfare. We have scanned CCTV footage. The driver (of the vehicle that was involved in the Saturday morning accident) couldn’t spot the woman as she came between the wheels,” the officer said.
The police have sought details of the driver from the civic body in their attempt to track him down. “The driver has been absconding since the accident,” an officer said.