Calcutta flyover closed: Bypass, VIP Road in grip of snarl
A seven-minute drive from the base of the closed flyover on EM Bypass till the Hudco crossing stretched to around 40 minutes as buses, cars and two-wheelers fought for every inch of road space.
Scores of traffic cops from Calcutta police as well as the Bidhannagar commissionerate struggled to keep vehicles moving as the closure of the flyover spawned snarls that stretched several kilometres on the Bypass and VIP Road.
The Ultadanga-bound flank of the six-lane VIP Road was choked with vehicles waiting to cross the old bridge to access the slip road that leads to the Bypass.
A drive from the Lake Town crossing to the slip road usually takes 12 minutes. On Wednesday, it took more than 30 minutes.
The flyover enables commuters bound for the Bypass from VIP Road or the other way round to avoid the snarl-hit Ultadanga crossing. The closure of the flyover only worsened the situation and brought traffic to a halt at the crossing with the police diverting all airport-bound vehicles from the Bypass towards it.
A traffic police officer said they could do little to ease the snarls because of the sheer volume of traffic.
A long queue of vehicles stretched from the Ultadanga crossing till the Hudco intersection 1.5km away. Traffic cops were seen directing vehicles towards the Durgapur bridge that leads to VIP Road. Once on VIP Road, airport-bound vehicles were allowed to use the service lane near the Golaghata bus stop.
“It took me nearly 45 minutes to reach VIP Road from the Bypass. The traffic was start-stop throughout and I could not go beyond first gear,” said Rudranil Choudhury, a resident of Bagmari who runs a shop near Lake Town.
Surabhi Sharma, 28, who had a flight to catch, said she left her house near the Mani Square mall with a couple of hours to spare. “But nothing prepared me for the snarls we are stuck in,” she said.
At the Kaikhali crossing of VIP Road, near the airport, Bypass-bound cars were diverted through New Town.