The state labour minister Becharam Manna led a cycle rally along the Durgapur Expressway to press for the long-standing demand for construction of 11 underpasses and service roads along the national highway.
The cycle rally was from Haripal Kangai Road junction to Dankuni toll plaza, covering 22 kilometres along the Durgapur Expressway. Prior to the rally today, Mr Manna had protested next to the Durgapur Expressway in February. He said that the demand for underpasses from Jalapara in Chanditala to Singur and completion of service roads and footbridges at congested and accident-prone zones, are long-standing demands of the people. The lack of subways force people to use the expressway, causing fatal accidents, he said, adding, livestock too are run over by vehicles many times.
The minister threatened to scale up his protests if the demands are not met. “This is the initial stage of our peaceful protest. If the demands remain unfulfilled, we will go in for further protests,” he said. He said that state chief minister Mamata Banerjee had written to road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari but no action had been taken.
“The national highway authority is earning good revenue through toll taxes. It is their duty to complete service roads, make underpasses for the safety and security of the population residing on either side of Durgapur Expressway,” said Mr Manna.
It is learnt that an inspection was carried out earlier at the marked spots on the Durgapur Express way by the NH2 project director, the district magistrate, SP, BDO in the presence of state labour minister. A resolution too was passed in the meeting and the resolution text was sent to central roadways and highway authority urging prompt steps.