Sealdah flyover load test derails traffic
Traffic was thrown out of gear in and around Sealdah on Friday, the only working day in the four-day period when the flyover will remain shut to facilitate its safety audit and load test.
An engineer of the Calcutta Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) that maintains the structure said that it would be closed to traffic till 6pm on August 18.
The closure started on Thursday evening when most offices and schools remained shut because of Independence Day.
Hundreds of commuters, students and office-goers had to brave a stop-and-go ride to their destinations on Friday even as the police diverted traffic through several arterial roads and feeder roads around the flyover.
Metro drove around the area and this is what we saw.
Motorists headed from north Calcutta to the station were directed to drive towards the MG Road from where they were diverted towards Amherst Street, BB Ganguly Street and the Koley market. From here the vehicles were diverted left and drove towards the station using the road under the flyover.
As most vehicles were diverted towards Amherst Street and MG Road, vehicles crawled along these two roads. South-bound vehicles, too, were diverted towards MG Road, Amherst Street and Lenin Sarani to reach Moulali crossing. A political rally on Amherst Street on Friday afternoon also added to the snarls. CR Avenue, too, faced snarls because of the shutdown.
“It generally takes me around 40 minutes to reach my office but on Friday it took me over an hour,” said Arun Chaturvedi, who
lives in Shyambazar and drives to his office in Camac Street.
The Beleghata Main Road was open for traffic and commuters headed for Sealdah from south Calcutta did not face much difficulty to reach. The police have imposed one-way movement along Amherst Street, BB Ganguly Street, College Street, NC Street, SN Banerjee Road, Creek Row and Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road .
The police have put up signboards that state — “Sealdah flyover is closed from 6pm on August 15 to 6pm on August 18 for KMDA work. Take diversion”. Directional arrows have been put up to guide motorists. “We have placed adequate signage to help motorists. They have been painted in bright colours so that they can be seen clearly from a distance,” said Santosh Pandey, deputy commissioner, traffic, Calcutta Police.
Additional traffic policemen were posted at every intersections.
“We have been stationed here since 8.30am. We are trying to keep the flow of traffic as smooth as possible,” said a sergeant posted at the MG Road intersection.
Parking restrictions were imposed on both sides of Amherst Street, BB Ganguly Street, College Street, NC Street, SN Banerjee Road, Creek Row and Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road.