Saturday, February 4

Ride to Batanagar will be a breeze soon as flyover nears completion

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The city’s first major infrastructure project developed through a public-private partnership model, and probably the last, is nearing completion. Finishing touches are being added to the 6.85km elevated corridor from Jinjira Bazaar off Taratala Road to Batanagar over Budge Budge Trunk Road, constructed at a cost of Rs 355 crore. The project promoters will take around four more months to complete the repair and widening of Budge Budge Trunk Road.

Conceived a decade ago to decongest Budge Budge Trunk Road and provide a communting solution to the 10 lakh people who reside in the three municipalities of Maheshtala, Budge Budge and Pujali, the project proposal was prepared in 2011 and the Centre cleared it under the urban renewal mission scheme in 2013. Two companies bid for the project, BBTR Elevated Road Pvt Ltd comprising L&T and Riverbank Development Pvt Ltd; and Simplex Infrastructure Pvt Ltd. The bid was awarded to the former in 2014 and construction of the flyover began around April 2015. Originally proposed to be completed in 30 months, the time frame was extended by nine months to factor in shifting of utilities, shops and encroachments.

“The construction of the elevated corridor christened Sampriti Flyover is over. The project is now in the finishing stages. We have written to the chief minister to seek an appointment for the flyover’s inauguration,” said Riverbank Development Pvt Ltd managing director Sumit Dabriwala.

Once open, it will reduce commuting time from Budge Budge to Taratala by 25-45 minutes, depending on the time of the day. Considered one of the most challenging projects given the limited road width (Budge Budge Trunk Road had one lane on each flank), a labyrinth of underground utilities and encroachment on either side, Budge Budge Municipality chairman Dulal Das carried out an awareness campaign to sway the public sentiment in the project’s favour and influenced over 1,000 people to voluntarily shift their shops to enable the flyover construction.

“The demand to augment the capacity of Budge Budge Trunk Road is a long-standing one. A large section of the population works in Kolkata and has to commute twice a day. Additionally, access to schools, hospitals and shopping centres is through the road. Now that the flyover is ready, it will make commute a lot easier than it has been,” said Das.

The flyover will also serve residents of the Batanagar Riverside township and housing projects like Eden City, Greenfield City and Purti that have sprung up in the belt in the past decade.

Though the project execution has been smoother and faster than most flyovers in the city executed by government agencies, PPP infrastructure projects are unlikely to be mooted in the future as funds are now available under various urban regeneration schemes.

Source: Times of India

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