Thursday, September 23

Detour for Vidyasagar Setu

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At least 13 local bus routes – which ply on Vidyasagar Setu – will have to take more than a 300 metre detour from Kona Football Gate and climb on to a specific bus bay that will be specifically created on lane 9 to reach Kazipara bus stop while coming towards Kolkata.
The decision – taken after a meeting between Howrah Traffic Police and Kolkata Traffic Police in the presence of the bus owners on Friday – has been conveyed to Hooghly River Bridge Commissioner’s office, the custodians of the bridge. The system will be operational from as early as September 1. The decision to use lane 9 was taken as it is the broadest lane available on the bridge. The decision – claim both police forces – will stop overtaking and illegal speeding. All longer distance buses though will continue to use lanes 1-5.
The police have decided that the buses available at the bus bay will have to stick to the route allotted to them. “Any violation will lead to prosecution,” said an officer. The police though have not taken a final decision on removing the Kazipara bus stand permanently. “There will be more consultation with HRBC in this respect. The bus bay itself should help in cutting down the usual traffic violations witnessed at the bus stand,” said an officer adding this will stop buses from entering any random bay and stopping the passengers from running around and endangering themselves. Informatory signages will be put up for drivers to move along the bay, said cops.

Back at Kolkata, the Vidyasagar Setu traffic guard said they are planning to switch the Hastings stop a little further down towards Turf View. “The Howrah bound buses tend to take the right lane all through after the PTS stop thus blocking the lane usually availed by the smaller four wheelers. We are trying to organize the area,” said an officer.

Earlier, five accidents reported on the Vidyasagar Setu in the past two months – three of them fatal – has prompted the Kolkata Traffic Police to write to the Hooghly River Bridge Commissioner’s office requesting them to introduce some specific new road furniture. The five suggestions, drafted by DC (Traffic) Arijit Sinha, are aimed at bringing down accidents on the bridge and its approaches. The police said these steps, once implemented, will also help in stopping people from jumping off from top of the bridge (two incidents have been recorded in the past two months).
The suggestions include putting up mesh wires on both flanks of the bridge, increasing the height of railings by 2 metre by placing rolling barriers that can act as shock absorbers, using rolling barriers as median dividers, better illumination at particular points on the bridge and its approaches and introducing several more red blinkers to mark lanes and bifurcations.

The police said that the height of the concrete barrier, on the edges of the bridge on both sides, may be increased by two feet by placing a rolling barrier system as a protective shock absorber to prevent vehicles involved in accidents from toppling off the bridge. Similarly, instead of using metallic barriers the same rolling barriers can be used – up to the height of four feet – to stop vehicles from moving over from one flank to another in case of severe accidents. In the past, multiple such instances were noticed on the Setu. The police have also argued for installing welded wire mesh on both flanks of the bridge to dissuade people from jumping from the top of the bridge.

BOX:

What’s the plan from September 1:

At least 13 local bus routes – which ply on Vidyasagar Setu – will have to take more than a 300 metre detour from Kona Football Gate and climb on to a specific bus bay that will be specifically created on lane 9 to reach Kazipara bus stop while coming towards Kolkata
All long distance buses to use lanes 1-5

What are the other suggestions by Kolkata Police?

* The police said that the height of the concrete barrier, on the edges of the bridge on both sides, may be increased by two feet by placing a rolling barrier system as a protective shock absorber to prevent vehicles involved in accidents from toppling off the bridge.

* Instead of using metallic barriers the same rolling barriers can be used – up to the height of four feet – to stop accident involved vehicles from moving over from one flank to another.

* Installing welded wire mesh on both flanks of the bridge to dissuade people from jumping from the top of the bridge.

* The police have asked for sufficient illumination too, especially at night pointing out how some high mast lights have stopped functioning for a long time.

* More red blinkers should be used lanes, curves and bifurcations to alert drivers in advance

* The cops said there is also a need to put up new informatory signages with retro reflective tapes so as to allow the drivers – especially outsiders entering the city – know the exact direction he has to drive

Source: TimesofIndia

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