Sunday, March 26

Wake-up call on South City footbridge

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An estimated 1.5 lakh pedestrians crossed Prince Anwar Shah Road near South City Mall on Sunday. Result: a long tail of vehicles and an endless wait even for those not headed to the mall.

A plan to build a footbridge one of whose arms would directly enter the mall came up for discussion at a meeting convened by municipal commissioner Khalil Ahmed on Monday after two years of slumber.

Ahmed asked civic engineers to collect the drawing of the proposed walkway from promoters of the South City Mall and talk to engineers of Jadavpur University (JU) for their views within a week.

The meeting was attended by civic officials and senior police officers.

After the developers had come up with the final plan of the proposed footbridge, a group of teachers at JU had been assigned to study the structural stability and submit their findings with suggestions for alterations, if any. That was in 2017.

“We will talk to the JU engineers about the proposed plan and gather their views in writ- ing within the next few days,” a corporation official said.

Biswajit Som, a visiting professor in JU’s construction engineering department, said the team had “suggested some alternations”.

Calcuttans have been generally averse to using foot overbridges but the police and civic officials do not see any other way to ease the crush of pedestrians on this stretch, especially on weekends.

Senior police officers said the South City crossing records a footfall of around 35- 40,000 people every day and the count goes up manifold ahead of festivals.

“On weekends, the tail of vehicles often reaches up to Jadavpur police station. It takes at least three officers and a special force near the mall to control the traffic and keep vehicles moving along Prince Anwar Shah Road,” an officer of Jadavpur police station said.

The police are worried that traffic would slow down even more on Prince Anwar Shah Road if pedestrian movement was not restricted.


Source: The Telegraph

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