Batanagar flyover ready, but use potholed road

The construction was completed in October but there’s been no official communication regarding its inauguration

By Subhajoy Roy in Calcutta
  • Published 6.12.18, 2:30 AM
  • Updated 6.12.18, 2:30 AM
  • 2 mins read
  •  
The Jinjirabazar flyover that has been ready for almost a month. Bishwarup Dutta

The Jinjirabazar flyover has been lying ready but unused for almost a month.

The result: people have to use the cratered road below.

The construction was completed in October but there’s been no official communication regarding its inauguration, a urban development department official said.

“We are waiting for a date from the government. The flyover is ready,” the official said.

Some engineers have raised safety concerns, though. Steel frames for flowerpots fixed on the flyover is unnecessary and can lead to accidents, an engineer said.

Police, too, feel the same. “The frames projecting inwards are completely unnecessary. It is a double lane flyover and such projections are bound to cause accidents,” a traffic police officer said.

The flyover is 8.5m wide and the Budge Budge-bound and Jinjirabazar-bound flanks can accommodate a car each.

“Suppose a two-wheeler tries to overtake the car from the left. It will inevitably lead to an accident. The steel frames must be removed before the flyover is thrown open to traffic,” a private company engineer who has been associated with several flyovers across the country said.

The 6.8km flyover starts at Jinjira Bazar, about 3km west of Taratala crossing, and ends at Batanagar.

Other flyovers in the city usually have four or six lanes.

A Batanagar resident said every day he found the street lights of the flyover glowing when he returned home at night. “But crash barriers are placed at the start of the flyover, blocking entry. If I can use the flyover I will reach home in 10 minutes from Jinjirabazar. But I have to use the damaged Budge Budge Trunk Road... it takes me more than 30 minutes even if there are no snarls,” he said.

Only a handful of vehicles are allowed on the flyover. Guards posted at the ends of the flyover have a list of the registration number of cars that can use the flyover. All other vehicles have to use the Budge Budge Trunk Road running below.

The Centre provided Rs 86 crore for the flyover and Hiland Group that has built Calcutta Riverside, a residential complex by the Hooghly at Batanagar bore the rest.

The initial project cost was Rs 255 crore but Hiland Group has spent close to Rs 330 crore, a company official said.

The project included widening and strengthening the stretch of Budge Budge Trunk Road that runs below the flyover. The road has been repaired in stretches and work is still on, Sumit Dabriwala, a co-owner of Hiland Group, said.

A resident of Rampur, which is between Jinjirabazar and Batanagar, said only patchwork on some stretches had been done before Puja. “This road will get flooded during the monsoon because the roadsides drains are clogged with debris.”

An official of Larsen and Toubro said the company had finished the construction of the flyover about a month ago.

The cratered Budge Budge Trunk Road beneath the flyover that people are forced to use.
The cratered Budge Budge Trunk Road beneath the flyover that people are forced to use. Bishwarup Dutta