Saturday, February 4

Escalators for foot over-bridges proposed at five key crossings

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Rickety and conventional foot over-bridges (FOB) will soon be a thing of the past. In a bid to control accidents involving pedestrians and put an end to jaywalking on some of the most congested roads in the city, the Kolkata Traffic Police has written to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation after they identified five FOBs that immediately need escalators to make them feasible. Top brass claims that their recommendations — coming days after their proposal to set up new foot over-bridges in at least 10 new locations — are not based only on the huge movement of vehicles at these intersections, but also the height of these over-bridges that makes it difficult for both the young and elderly commuters to use them. “We have asked for escalators for over-bridges at Dhakuria crossing, the NRS Hospital, Rajabazar-Sealdah, Manicktala and Ultadanga,” said a senior officer of the planning department saying discussions between the two agencies have already begun. Among all the proposed escalators on FOBs, the cops are putting their focus on two — one in central Kolkata and the other in south. “After taking up a traffic analysis at Sealdah station complex and the surrounding areas we found that jaywalking is a concern. While there are walking bays, we find people crossing over at will. Rarely does anyone use the FoB. Once we can get people on the FOB, we will free up a good portion of the road near the station,” said an officer. Before finalizing the spots, cops also studied the areas which are accident-prone. “Spots have been selected on the basis of their proximity to frequent road accidents. Primarily we have selected 8-10 spots where the new age foot over-bridges will be set up. Later, we will take up 10-15 more such spots in the city,” said the officer. One of the ways to force people to use the over-bridges is to erect median dividers, so that people cannot use the road to cross over. “Once the escalators are in place, we will put up barriers and ensure that the jaywalkers cannot cross over from anywhere close to the FOBs,” assured an IPS officer who is overseeing the proposals being made to the civic agency.

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