Cables to stop kite injuries in Calcutta
Cables will be mounted on poles along crash barriers on either side of the Parama flyover to ensure kite strings don’t land on the road and threaten the lives of two-wheeler riders, the government has decided.
The urban development department has chosen a 25m stretch between No. 4 bridge and Gobinda Khatik Road for the pilot project. Cables will be mounted on angular poles so that kite strings get stuck in them and don’t land on two-wheeler riders, police said.
Engineers from the Calcutta Metropolitan Development Authority, along with police officers, have already inspected the stretch a couple of times to understand how the poles will be fixed and the height till which the cables will be kept to ensure kite strings don’t land on the road.
The work of fixing the poles and the cables will be carried out in the presence of cops, the police said. Officers will decide when the work will be carried out based on the traffic flow on the day selected.
“CMDA engineers had sought permission and we have already granted them the necessary clearance. Once the design is ready, the work of installing the poles will start,” an officer in Lalbazar said.
Kite strings have injured many two-wheeler riders on the Parama flyover.
In May, Akhtar Khan, 40, a Watgunge resident, was killed after a kite string of the manja variety (string laced with glass powder and gum) slashed his throat while he was riding a scooter on the Parama flyover near Park Circus. His throat and the scooter had been found covered in the kite string. He had been declared dead at Calcutta National Medical College and Hospital.
The police have so far failed to contain the menace. The National Green Tribunal has banned the sale of manja.
In July, Calcutta High Court had directed the police to strictly enforce the ban on Chinese manja and nylon and synthetic threads used to fly kites.
“We have decided on erecting angular poles on the crash barriers on either side of the flyover… it will add minimal weight to the structure,” a CMDA engineer said. “If the pilot project is successful, we will cover the entire flyover.”
On August 31, Rohit Sau was left bleeding when a kite string slashed his chin while he was on his two-wheeler on the Parama flyover. Sau was lucky as he was moving at moderate speed and he had managed to grab the string and protect his throat, the police said.