Bridge plan for Calcutta's Exide crossing
The Calcutta Municipal Corporation has started the groundwork for constructing a pedestrian overbridge at the Exide crossing after the police brass pressed for it to prevent pedestrians from walking across the busy intersection.
“It has been primarily decided that the overbridge, which will run across Asutosh Mukherjee Road to the south of the crossing, will be built on the lines of the one on Belvedere Road in Alipore, which was inaugurated by chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday. It will have escalators, along with stairs,” a CMC official said.
The police have decided on the location of the overbridge following a survey of some busy intersections in the city. The survey has revealed that most pedestrian crossover at the Exide intersection takes place between the two exists of Rabindra Sadan Metro station.
The police had in March 2018 tried to regulate pedestrian movement by installing boom barriers at the crossing. The move failed, prompting the police to ask the CMC to build a pedestrian overbridge through public-private partnership.
“Exide has agreed to be part of the project,” said a civic engineer who oversees public-private partnership projects. “We have started digging a trial trench at the spot. There are a number of underground utilities around this intersection. We will identify and shift them.”
The Alipore overbridge that Mamata unveiled from Tarakeswar in Hooghly is fitted with CCTV cameras and has three digital information boards. One of the boards displays information such as temperature and humidity and another the phone numbers of the civic control room, fire brigade control room and the traffic control room at Lalbazar. The third displays the distance of prominent locations such as the airport, Nabanna and Howrah station from the overbridge.
The overbridge, built at a cost of around Rs 4 crore, spans 35.5m in length and stands at a height of 6.5m from the road.
The public-private partnership project has outdoor advertising agency Karukrit as the partner. “We will maintain the bridge for 30 years,” said Debasish Saha of Karukrit. In return, the company will have advertising rights to the structure.