The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) and Kolkata Police are likely to opt for a 500-metre stretch from Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Road to the Kalighat temple complex for the proposed skywalk.
While KMC is roping in a consultancy firm for a detailed project report (DPR), the alternative spot — an 800-metre stretch from Gopalnagar bridge — appears unfeasible for its proximity to the chief minister’s Kalighat residence and lack of space on Hazra Road to facilitate movement of pilgrims and additional car parking. The Kalighat skywalk has a completion date of 2020 end. The DPR will be submitted by the year-end.
KMC engineers and police officers, who had inspected the two proposed sites, felt that a skywalk from Gopalnagar would be longer by 300 metres. The point of origin along Gopalnagar bridge is a few meters away from the CM’s 30B Harish Chatterjee Street home. “Hazra Road is narrow. In addition to facilitating VVIP movement and its usual traffic flow along its two lanes, it cannot take the burden of pilgrims’ rush and an additional space for car parking,” an officer said. “S P Mukherjee Road, in contrast, can,” the officer added. A KMC official pointed out, “A skywalk will also entail removing and relocating all utilities from the spot. The bigger the stretch is, the more complicated it becomes.”
The Kalighat skywalk will be modelled on the Dakshineswar skywalk. KMC commissioner Khalil Ahmed has already held a meeting with urban development minister Firhad Hakim to firm up the skywalk model. Hakim has discussed this with the CM, a source said. KMDA is the implementing agency of the Dakshineswar skywalk.
A police officer said, “A skywalk in Kolkata will require a car parking space too. Now devotees park their vehicles along Kalighat Road and other lanes and by-lanes hemming it prompting vehicular traffic to move in a single line. It must be ensured that people can approach the skywalk from the car parking space directly.”
Sources said the construction of the skywalk will be integral to the Kalighat temple complex beautification project.
Source: Times of India