Engineers from the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) have told police that Strand Road North, which was a convenient thoroughfare for vehicles travelling north from Posta and Burrabazar before it was closed to traffic, can be reopened by next week.
Once reopened, the road will help decongest some of the arteries in central Kolkata that have been reeling from vehicle load since a part of Vivekananda Road was barricaded on August 26 to facilitate the demolition of the flyover over it.
Strand Road North has been shut to traffic since mid-June, when the first phase of the demolition of the Vivekananda Road flyover started. The ongoing phase, between Ganesh Talkies and Girish Park, is the second and the last.
A part of the flyover had collapsed in March 2016, killing 45 people.
“KMC engineers have said the repairs on Strand Road North are in their last stage. The road should be ready either by this weekend or early next week,” said a senior officer of Kolkata police. “We are keenly waiting for it because the road can take a considerable load of traffic.”
The vehicles headed for this stretch of Strand Road are now being diverted through MG Road and Maharshi Debendra Road. Once the road is reopened, vehicles will move straight to Nimtala Ghat Street and reach Sovabazar and BK Pal Avenue, without taking a circuitous diversion.
Since August 26, when the stretch of Vivekananda Road between Girish Park and Ganesh Talkies was shut, rush-hour traffic has been crawling through parts of Rabindra Sarani, KK Tagore Street and Beadon Street.
The police said several roads, including Maharshi Debendra Road and Jadulal Mullick Road, were not wide enough to accommodate the increased vehicle load, post-diversion.
“We are not going in for thorough overhauling of Strand Road North because of the intermittent rains. Our engineers have assessed the condition and patchwork repairs are being carried out,” said a senior official of the KMC’s roads department.