Firm seeks two roads for flyover work

Zip, zap and whoosh... snarl to silk route

By Kinsuk Basu
  • Published 29.09.15

The builders of the Parama island-Park Circus flyover will ask the government to immediately hand over Congress Exhibition Road and Nasiruddin Road in Park Circus to ensure that the rest of the project is completed in time and prevent cost escalation.

The high court has set July 2016 as the deadline for wrapping up the flyover work, leaving the builders - Hindustan Construction Company - on the edge.

HCC is building the flyover, barring a 700m stretch that L&T is building.

"We want the government to hand over the work front on these roads as early as possible. All the agencies involved have agreed to the deadline and any delay in getting work started would make things difficult to handle," a senior engineer of HCC said. "We also don't want any further cost escalation."

In the second phase of the project, an arm of the flyover will run above Congress Exhibition Road and Nasiruddin Road to merge with the AJC Bose Road flyover.

The 450m-stretch from Bridge No. 4 in Park Circus till the point from where the AJC Bose Road flyover starts has congested pockets and a narrow corridor that registers heavy traffic. The nearby seven-point crossing, with construction activities in its vicinity, poses a challenge for those manning traffic, too.

Calcutta traffic police insiders say the key factor they would consider before deciding on the plea to hand over the Congress Exhibition Road and Nasiruddin Road to the flyover's builders was their role in maintaining normal traffic flow.

"Both these arteries are very important for traffic circulation in the region around the Park Circus seven-point crossing," a senior officer of the traffic police said. "We will decide on the HCC's proposal after examining the diversion of traffic load from the Park Circus connector to the newly-opened flyover."

HCC officials say they cannot wait for the traffic bosses to "ponder and decide", as too much work needs to be done in too little time.

"We have no map of the underground utilities. There is a brick sewer under New Park Street, between the seven-point crossing and Bridge No. 4. A network of underground water pipes, connecting buildings to the main supply line, exists under Congress Exhibition Road," an HCC engineer said.

"Electricity cables of CESC and sewer lines run side by side. Trial pits would have to be dug to ascertain the location of the conduits before they are shifted. Work on erecting the pillars for the remaining part of the flyover can only start after the utilities are shifted."

To facilitate construction, the Trinamul-led Calcutta Municipal Corporation will have to ask hawkers to shift from the pavements in the construction zone. Civic body sources said it would be a tough call for the authorities in the festive season.

Sources close to urban development minister Firhad Hakim said the monitoring committee for the project would sit shortly with representatives of the traffic police to work on a tentative date for handing over the roads to HCC.

"We want the site to be made available to us at the earliest. Already, the cost overrun totals hundreds of crores and we don't want any further escalation," an HCC engineer said.