On a day Bengal got its longest flyover connecting Park Circus with Parama Island, chief minister Mamata Banerjee vowed to go one better and mooted the country’s longest flyover linking Batanagar to Joka and Garia and spanning more than 30 km.
Speaking at the inauguration of the 4.3 km-long Park CircusParama Island flyover on Friday, the chief minister claimed that Bengal, on her watch, has made rapid strides on the infrastructure front and posted a 600% rise in roads and highway projects.
“Work has already started on a 7.4 km flyover that will connect Jinjirabazar near Taratala with Batanagar. If fund permits, I plan to take out one flank from this flyover and extend it up to Joka.
Another flank will connect Taratala with Tollygung e Phanri, Anwar Shah Road and Jadavpur and go right up to Garia,” Mamata said.
Experts said that if the ambitious flyover project, linking Batanagar to Garia via Joka, does take off, it will span more than 30 km and rank as the longest in the country. Plans are also afoot to widen the 10-km stretch of Budge Budge Trunk Road leading to the double-lane flyover.
Once all its flanks are thrown open to the commuting public, the Park Circus-Parama Island will extend 9.1 km, the longest in Bengal.
At present, the three longest flyovers in the country are the PVNR flyover in Hyderabad measuring 11.6 km, Hosur Road Elevated Expressway in Bangalore measuring 10 km and the East Coast Elevated Expressway measuring 9.7 km.
Claiming that the transport infrastructure and traffic condition in Kolkata are far better than other metros including Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, the chief minister said: “There has been a 600% growth in infrastructure projects since our government took charge four years back. Several more projects are in the pipeline.”
She said work is on in full swing on a series of other infrastructure projects that would add to the road space in Kolkata and its outskirts. The projects include Baranagar-Noapara-Barrackpore Metro link, East– West Metro, Bus Rapid Transit System and Kamalgazi flyover connecting Baruipur among others.
“Over the next two to three years, things (read: the transport and infrastructure scene in Bengal) will change drastically as a bouquet of projects will see the light of day. There won’t be any traffic problem,” Mamata said.
The state government has already flagged off around 1250 new buses and 14,000 no-refusal taxis to add to the existing transport fleet in the city. At least 20 multi-specialty hospitals are already in various stages of implementation and will be ready soon.
“I have also asked the Kolkata Police top brass to come up with plans to ease traffic congestion in parts of central and south Kolkata,” Mamata said.
She lashed out at the Centre and the erstwhile Left Front government claiming that while the Front regime saddled the state with a huge debt burden, the Centre is taking away a sizeable chunk of revenues generated by her government.
“In 2011, we (the Bengal government) earned Rs 21,000 crore and the Centre took away Rs 20,000 crore. In 2012, we generated revenues worth Rs 28,000 crore and the Centre took away Rs 25,000 crore. In 2013, we earned Rs 40,000 crore and the Centre took away Rs 28,000 crore,” Mamata said.
“As for the opposition parties, they are jealous of our achievements. Jealously has no cure. They are just earning their keep by showing their faces on television channels and criticising our government,” Mamata said.