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Durga Puja

Kalighat skywalk construction after Durga Puja

Firhad Hakim laid the foundation stone for the project on Thursday

Subhajoy Roy | Published 08.10.21, 07:30 AM
Firhad Hakim lays the foundation stone for the skywalk on Thursday.

Firhad Hakim lays the foundation stone for the skywalk on Thursday.

Gautam Bose

After a delay of over two years, the construction of a skywalk leading to Kalighat temple is finally set to begin after the Puja holidays.

Firhad Hakim, the chairperson of the board of administrators of the Kalcutta Municipal Corporation (KMC), laid the foundation stone for the project on Thursday.

“We are hoping to begin the construction work after the Puja holidays,” said a senior official of the KMC.

The skywalk will begin from the intersection of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Road and Kali Temple Road and end near the temple gate. There will be an arm of the skywalk towards Kalighat fire station from near Kalighat police station for the devotees coming from Hazra Road. The 25ft wide skywalk will benefit both devotees headed to the temple and cars plying on the road. At present, the devotees and cars use the same road, said a civic engineer.

The length of the skywalk over the Kali Temple Road will be 390 metre and that of the arm going towards Kalighat fire brigade station will be 60 metre.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee had proposed the construction of a skywalk in Kalighat in November 2018.

The CMC did an inspection in  2019 before entrusting the railways’ subsidiary — Rites — to prepare a detailed project report in March 2019. But the construction could not begin because it required the shifting of stall owners from a hawkers’ corner at the intersection of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Road and Kali Temple Road. Covid-induced lockdown further delayed effort.

The KMC had initially planned to shift the stall owners to Kalighat Park located between Hazra and Rashbehari crossings. But the stall owners were unwilling to move there because they felt their business would be hit.

Finally, Jatin Das Park at Hazra crossing was selected as the site for rehabilitation of the 175 stall owners.

The project was also delayed because no one bid for the project. “We had to float the tender five times before we could find a contractor to do the job,” the senior KMC official added.

Two escalators — going up and coming down — will be available near the gate of Kali temple. Two more escalators will be available at the intersection of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Road and Kali Temple Road.

The piers of the skywalk will come up from near the kerbs of the road.

After the skywalk is built, the road below will have 7.5-metre width that will allow two vehicles to move in opposite directions comfortably, said the KMC official.

The KMC will construct a five-storey building at the site of the hawkers’ corner where the stall owners shifted to Jatin Das Park will be brought back.

Last updated on 16.11.21, 05:21 PM
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