Saturday, February 4

More subways, foot overbridges to ensure pedestrians’ safe passage

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Looking into the safety of pedestrians, a number of foot overbridges and subways were thro wn open last year and more are in the offing this year. Government agencies, like KMDA and PWD, are setting up these facilities so that people can cross thoroughfares and high-speed corridors safely without having to step onto the roads and put their lives at risk.

A foot overbridge that the KMC has set up in front of Alipore zoo is expected to be inaugurated by the end of the month. The elevated structure over Belvedere Road from the zoo-end to the aquarium will have escalators. The authorities hope that this elevated structure will ease the huge jam that clogs Belvedere Road, Alipore Road, spilling onto AJC Bose Road, Hastings and PTS crossing during peak hours, when zoo visitors cross the road. It will help pedestrian movement to CU’s Alipore campus.

VIP Road and EM Bypass, two of the city’s major high-speed corridors, saw the inauguration of multiple underpasses and foot overbridges last year. On Bypass, one subway was opened at Beliaghata and another near Hyatt to help pedestrians cross the road to and from the Salt Lake-end. On VIP Road, the PWD inaugurated two underpasses before the Pujas, one at Sreebhumi and another at Golaghata. “Given the huge rise in the number vehicles over the past few years, subways and FOBs have become a necessity to ensure pedestrians do not have to walk across Bypass and VIP Road, manoeuvring past speeding cars. These facilities also help smooth dispersal of vehicles,” a KMDA official said.

The KMDA plans to set up foot overbridges at the Chinrighata and Captain Bheri crossings on EM Bypass, a zone that has become notorious for accidents. The authorities have already floated tenders for the two and work is expected to start within a few months. These foot overbridges are supposed to have escalators on both ends, keeping in mind that the elderly often shun the facilities, fearing the tedious climb. This apart, the KMDA has started preparing for a feasibility study for an underpass at the Ruby crossing and plans are on for underpasses at Patuli, also on Bypass, and on several points on VIP Road, towards airport.

The government is examining the stability of several foot overbridges, like those at Ultadanga, Razabazar and Sealdah and fortifying them. To shed off the extra load on them, all the hoardings have been taken off.

At New Town, Hidco plans to build four vehicular underpasses and pedestrian subways at four busy intersections on the main arterial road.

Source: Times of India

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