The pothole-ridden VIP Road is being repaired as the civic poll season draws near in Kolkata.
According to a PWD official, the entire 8-km stretch of VIP Road, from Ultadanga to Jessore Road near the airport gate number 1 intersection in the northeastern part of Kolkata, will be completely relaid.
For many years, all that VIP Road got was patchwork repairs that peeled off after a few spells of rain.
Both the city-bound flank as well as the airport-bound flank of the artery will be relaid using mastic asphalt, the PWD engineer said.
The Telegraph had reported on multiple occasions about the sorry state of the road that connects the city to the airport.
Workmen have started peeling off the top surface of the road.
On Thursday, a 250-m-long stretch of the Ultadanga-bound flank of the road was cordoned off. The top layer of the road was scraped off starting from the base of Baguiati flyover to the Dum Dum Park traffic signal post.
“We are now peeling off the top surface. We will replace it using a German machine that is non-polluting,” an officer said.
Another officer said that a German-made Gussasphalt mastic asphalt laying machine has been pressed into service as part of a trial run and the results are “extremely satisfactory”.
Traffic headed to the Ultadanga crossing, however, has slowed down considerably because of the cordoned-off stretch.
The drive to the airport as well as back to Ultadanga was bumpy as craters dot both the flanks of the VIP Road.
The places where the patchworks peeled off were dusty and pockmarked with stone chips and made things risky for both two-wheelers and cars. Many bikers have skidded on these patches.
A Kaikhali resident was happy that “the elections are near”. Kolkata Municipal Corporation is going to polls on December 19. The other civic bodies are likely to have the polls by April.
Rakesh Agarwal, who stays in a housing complex off VIP Road, said: “Accidents are occurring frequently because of sand and loose stone chips strewn across the entire width of the airport-bound flank. This is a problem that has been going on for the past few years.”