Beautifying Kolkata

As the second city of the British Empire, Kolkata, then Calcutta, had earned the sobriquet “City of Palaces” before partition happened and the surge of population post-independence robbed it of its apparent beauty though its soul remained as beautiful as ever. Even cinematic presentation of the city in those years depicted its squalor and the struggle for day-to-day existence before declaring it to be a dead city. The present government is keen to restore it to its previous grandeur and has prepared a road map for the beautification drive.‘Kolkata on WHEELS’ spoke to Municipal Secretary of Kolkata Municipal Corporation, Mr Harihar Prasad Mandal who shared the details about the improvements of the city

Construction of median strip
Timeline: June 2010 to February 2015

Executed by: Civil Engineering Dept

Major streets in urban and suburban areas have medians that separate opposite lanes of traffic on streets and roadways. Medians are constructed to increase the speed of traffic and to avoid road accidents due to haphazard road and pedestrian crossings as well. As a part of its city improvement plan, KMC constructed RCC elevated median strip in major thoroughfares like CR Avenue, JL Nehru Road, Chowringhee Road, Ashutosh Mukherjee Road, Prince Anwar Shah Road, Sarat Bose Road, Jyotindramohan Sarani and a portion of Rashbehari Avenue and APC Road. The total cost was Rs 7.9 crores for a total length of 12.8 km.


Mastic asphalt paving for city roads
Timeline: June 2010 to February 2015

Executed by: Roads Department

The major roads that has been improved by paving them with mastic asphalt are Layelka Road, Belvedere Road, Biren Roy East, Upen Banerjee and Banamali Naskar Road, Garden Reach Road, Paharpur Road, Rashbehari Connector (major portion), Shakespeare Sarani, BBD Bag (West) Raja Dinendra Street, a part of CR Avenue, Manmotha Dutta Street, Mirza Ghalib Street, RA Kidwai, Hazra Road. Approximately, 102.79 km of roads were paved with mastic asphalt.


Strengthening of roads
Timeline: June 2010 to February 2015

Executed by: Roads Department

CR Avenue, major portion of Prince Anwar Shah Connector, Chowbhaga Road from Dr Ambedkar to Chowbagha DPS, etc have all been improved and strengthened. The total length covered under this scheme was 109.27 km.


Widening of different roads
Timeline: June 2010 to February 2015

Executed by: Roads Department

This has been executed according to requisition by traffic department of Kolkata Police. Roads of a total length of 10.60 km have been widened. Some major roads under this are Park Circus Connector, Suhrawardy Avenue, Congress Exhibition Road, Camac Street, Cossipore Road etc.


Improvement of footpaths
Timeline: June 2010 to February 2015

Executed by: Civil Engineering Dept

Most of the major thoroughfares, covering a total length of 120 km have been developed by providing interlocking paver blocks. The total cost of improving the foot paths has been around Rs 30 crores approximately and has been done to ensure better amenity for pedestrians as well as easy maintenance and long lasting pavements.

LED street lighting
Timeline: June 2010 to May 2015

Executed by: Lighting and Electricity Department

The pilot project consisted of installing 1773 numbers of LED street lights of 180W and 130W wattage by replacing 400 W HPSV fittings. The lights are installed at Ripon Lane, Balaram Mandir, Mayer Bari, Ramkrishna Mahasmashan, Vivekananda Bari, Kalakar Street, Mudiali Road, Nandi Street, Narkeldanga Road, CR Avenue – Vivekananda Road Crossing, Bidhan Sarani Crossing, Bagha Jatin Station Road, Kalighat Road, SN Banerjee Road, Parnasree Park, Bondel Road, etc.


Installation of trident lights
Timeline: June 2010 to May 2015

Executed by: Lighting and Electricity Department

As a part of city beautification programme, trident lights comprising 3 energy-saving CFL lamps of 18W each in three arms, have been installed in various arterial roads of the city including the banks of the river Ganges. The beautification of the façade of Kalighat temple has also been completed through installation of colour changing LED lights comprising the seven colors of the rainbow.

The department has also successfully installed 10,474 numbers of trident fittings in all the major roads of the city along with riverside beautification.

In this process, 8819 HPSV and 3205 metal lamps have been installed along with 3007 CFL lamps and 474 trident decorative light fittings.

Renovation and improvement works of the lighting system at major city roads were also undertaken in a phase-wise manner.

Future plans ( from 2017 onwards)
Paving mastic asphalt surface: The remaining portion of CR Avenue, JM Avenue, Northern Avenue, a portion of AJC Bose Road (portion), the remaining portion of Rashbehari Connector, Prince Anwar Shah Connector, Park Circus Connector would be paved with mastic asphalt.

Improvement and strengthening of road: Remaining part of Prince Anwar Shah Connector, CR Avenue, JM Avenue, GJ khan Road, and road connecting to Ajaynagar Morh on EM Bypass to new campus site of South Point School, etc are to be improved and strengthened.

Repairing of roads: 1,75,000.00 sq. m area of different roads would be repaired for better movement of vehicles.

Widened roads, better street lights, improved pavements would definitely make the city a livable one but it would be up to the citizens to make it a truly clean and environment friendly city. So let’s do our bit for our beloved city.

Improvements implemented by Kolkata Municipal Corporation (2010-2015)
Job Description Units
Construction of median strip 12.8 Km
Mastic asphalt paving for city  roads 102.79 Km
Strengthening of roads 109.27 Km
Widening of different roads 10.60 Km
Improvement of footpaths 120 Km
LED street lighting 1773 numbers
Installation of trident lights 10,474 numbers


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