A steady stream of vehicles headed to the Sreebhumi Sporting Club’s Durga Puja pandal off VIP Road prompted the police to introduce traffic diversions to ensure that airport-bound vehicles kept moving.
On Sunday, thousands of cars, bikes and two-wheelers were headed towards Sreebhumi and the numbers peaked in the evening.
The airport-bound vehicles were being made to pass through a single lane of the Ultadanga-bound flank of VIP Road that was demarcated with traffic cones and guardrails.
Motorists getting off the EM Bypass-VIP Road flyover as well as the Durgapur bridge, which connects VIP Road with Ultadanga, were being diverted to the Ultadanga-bound flank near Dakshindari. They were travelling for around 1km through a lane of the Ultadanga-bound flank before joining the airport-bound flank of VIP Road at the Dum Dum Park crossing.
The service lane of VIP Road along the airport-bound flank near the Sreebhumi puja has been shut to facilitate pedestrian movement.
“The traffic plan has been put in place after studying the movement of vehicles on VIP Road. This will stay in place on the Puja days as well as ahead of the Puja,” said a senior officer of the Bidhannagar commissionerate’s traffic wing.
On Sunday, The Telegraph drove through the airport-bound flank of VIP Road twice from Ultadanga.
At 2pm, traffic moved along the artery at its usual pace.
However, around 6pm, traffic volume increased manifold and the speed reduced to a crawl near the Sreebhumi puja.
“We are trying to keep traffic moving but given the number of vehicles on Sunday, we are staring at a tough task,” a traffic police officer posted near the Sreebhumi puja said.
It took around 35 minutes to drive down the EM Bypass-VIP Road flyover till the base of the Baguiati flyover, a distance of 5.6km, on Sunday evening. It usually does not take more than 20 minutes to cover the distance.
Those driving on the road should add at least 15 minutes to their schedule because of the diversions, another officer said. The cops have advised people headed to the airport from the city to use Major Arterial Road in New Town to avoid delays.
Those headed towards the Bypass from the airport, too, can opt for Major Arterial Road.