In what comes as a ray of hope for the displaced residents of the subsidence affected zone in Bowbazar, the implementing agency of the ongoing Metro project in the area, Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Limited, has finalised the tender for reconstruction of the houses.
Stretches of roads in different parts of the city have become death traps for vehicles due to the potholes, posing a life threat. Most vulnerable are the two wheelers. The primary reason for this is road repair work takes place during monsoons. Due to global warming and other factors, major climatic changes have taken place.
Sectional rain has become very common which means that while there is torrential rain in one area, the other areas remain dry. The Kolkata Police has given a list to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) of roads which need immediate repair. A retired engineer of the state government said for generations what is being done in the name of road repair is nothing but eyewash. “Roads should be repaired during winter when the weather is dry. In other states roads are repaired in winter.
Our chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s intention is very good and she wants the roads in the city and districts to be smooth for faster movement of vehicles. However, the officers under him do not take up the work on time. The repairing of roads during monsoon leads to wasteful expenditure worth crores of rupees,” he said. Hyde Road in southern suburbs has become a death trap for vehicles, particularly for two wheelers.
As it is difficult for twowheeler riders to spot the potholes or creators from a distance and have to use panic braking when they come near the potholes. The vehicles following them often fail to control them and hit the one on the front.
Everyday motor cyclists are getting injured in road accidents. In the past two days there had been heavy rain in south Kolkata. Road repairing materials were put on various roads like Harish Mukherjee Road, Priyanath Mullick Road among others. After the smart shower, the tar that is used is washed away and within 48 hours potholes have come up. It will become worse within the next few days. Both the flanks of Sealdah flyover have become a major threat to vehicles particularly for two wheelers.
There are speed breakers across Kolkata without any fluorescent mark on them and this is highly risky as the drivers often cannot gauge them from a distance. Civic engineers preferring anonymity said such patch repairs do not serve any purpose but huge money is required to do thorough repair. “Only comprehensive planning involving all the agencies is needed if we really want the city roads to be smooth,” said senior civic engineers. -photo by Biswajit Ghoshal