In November 2018, Kolkata Municipal Development Authority (KMDA) successfully completed a mammoth project by unveiling the ‘futuristic’ Dakshineswar Rani Rashmoni Skywalk. The skywalk is a 340-metre-long 10.5-metre-wide pathway connecting the Dakshineswar Railway Station to the main gate of the Dakshineswar Kali Temple, courtesy West Bengal Government.
The primary focus of the skywalk is to provide a dynamic solution to age-old problems by segregating pedestrian and vehicular traffic on Rani Rashmoni Road by connecting Dakshineswar Temple with the PWD Road and ensuring the rehabilitation of the hawkers and shopkeepers. This has been made possible with the construction of 200-odd shops inside the skywalk.
The skywalk consists of fourteen escalators, four lifts and a staircase, integrating the walking concourse, escalators, and elevators with the railway footbridge, with separate lanes for motorised and non-motorised traffic underneath. This has largely eased both pedestrian and vehicular mobility in and around Dakshineswar.
To drive down to Dakshineswar, enter the PWD Road which originates from Dunlop Bridge on B T Road and proceed towards Bally Bridge (Vivekananda Setu). Continue on the PWD Road which passes to the left of the upward ramp of Nibedita Setu. Follow the PWD Road to reach the traffic rotary and take the second exit on right connecting Dakshineswar Temple. Earlier, at this spot, the convergence of slow traffic, pilgrims and railway commuters caused massive pile-up, which is now breathing easy, courtesy the skywalk. Enter Rani Rashmoni Road commencing below the pedestrian skywalk to proceed towards the Dakshineswar Temple car park.
The skywalk is designed as a tube mounted on top of a platform supported on two legs, which provides a 6-meter-wide central lane earmarked for motorised transport moving either way, and 2-meter-wide lanes on the peripheries for slow-moving traffic such as rickshaws and bicycles. The skywalk entry points are on the PWD Road, in front of the Dakshineswar Railway Station and the Ramkrishna Paramhans Dev Road.
The skywalk has enhanced the ease of movement and safety of the visitors, providing seamless connectivity between the Dakshineswar Railway Station, the traffic rotary on the PWD Road and the temple gates. The motorists visiting the temple can now conveniently reach the sprawling car parking lot of the temple without having to face the earlier congestion of pedestrians and hawkers.