Monday, 30th October 2017

E- paper

Battered roads await better days

The area resembles a Martian landscape with the red bricks exposed from the broken asphalt around it

By Snehal Sengupta in Salt Lake
  • Published 11.01.20, 1:05 AM
  • Updated 11.01.20, 1:05 AM
  • 2 mins read
  •  
Exposed bricks at Baisakhi Island. Picture by Saradindu Chaudhury

The stretch of First Avenue near Baisakhi Island has had bricks jutting out and huge potholes for the past couple of years, putting hundreds of motorists at risk every day.

The area resembles a Martian landscape with the red bricks exposed from the broken asphalt around it. Cars and autorickshaws sway dangerously as they try to negotiate the potholes, some of which span the entire width of the Tank 7-bound flank that is around 15-feet wide.

The First Avenue connects the township with Ultadanga and thousands of people use the Baisakhi footbridge everyday, making this a busy intersection.

An auto veers to a side to avoid damaged roads
An auto veers to a side to avoid damaged roads Picture by Saradindu Chaudhury

“The potholes have been here for long. A couple of years ago they piled some brickbats atop but that’s it. The road never got resurfaced,” said Kumarjit Dutta, who stays in a government housing complex in the area.

An official of the Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation said that the roads around Baisakhi had been dug up to lay pipes two years back. “The water supply pipes have been laid beneath the canal-side road behind AH Block, under a stretch on the First Avenue, from the Tank 5 Island till Baisakhi and this is why the roads had been dug up. They were filled up afterwards with a mixture of broken and semi-broken bricks,” said the official.

More than half the flank of this road near IA Market is beyond use
More than half the flank of this road near IA Market is beyond use Picture by Saradindu Chaudhury

However, the corporation never laid the asphalt layer on the bricks. A CMDA engineer said that bricks are the bedrock of roads and that the asphalt layer should have been laid as soon as the brickwork was completed.

“The wheels of passing vehicles have dug in and created large craters. Now levelling work has to be done before any fresh layer of bitumen can be laid on top,” said the engineer.

A corporation official said that despite receiving several complaints from residents, the stretches had not been repaired due to a paucity of funds. Tapas Chatterjee, the deputy mayor of the corporation who is charge of road repairs, said that they would carry out repairs on the stretch “expeditiously.”

“I know the road around Baisakhi is in bad shape. Our councillors have drawn up a list of roads that need repairs and this stretch features on the list too. We have started repairs on the Seventh Cross Road that leads to the footbridge and will repair this stretch soon,” said Chatterjee, adding that roads leading to Central Park would get a facelift on an urgent basis in the run-up to the Book Fair.

On Wednesday, The Telegraph Salt Lake saw stone chips piled in front of Baisakhi market but there were no labourers around. “These stone chips have been lying here for ages,” said Ashish Bor, a rickshaw-puller.

Many roads around the township, such as between Tank 13 and Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, in blocks like DL and EE, are crying for repairs.