Running on the eastern fringe of Kolkata, from Ultadanga in the northeast corner to southeast end at Patuli, the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass has been a boon to the people of this city for close to two decades now. EM Bypass has not only helped in reducing the travelling time between the extreme north and south ends of the city, giving access to the satellite townships of Salt Lake and New Town, but has also helped in the economic surge of Kolkata with multiple malls, hospitals, housing complexes and star-rated hotels dotting its length.
Initially, EM Bypass ran from HUDCO crossing in Ultadanga to Dhalai Bridge in Patuli for 15.6 km. With rapid growth in Rajpur, Sonarpur and Baruipur municipalities in the recent past, travel demands propelled the extension of the EM Bypass up to Paddapukur in Baruipur in South 24 Parganas, for an additional length of 11.3 km, by Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA).
What led to the extension
Rapid urbanisation in South 24-Parganas with the increasing pressure on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Road, is the main reason to etch out the extension of EM Bypass. Baruipur has also been designated as a knowledge hub of the state. A considerable area of nearly 140 acres has been earmarked for setting up the nationally reputed institution/research centers. A township of over 100 acres is also coming up within the area along with the already expanding townships of Rajpur and Sonarpur. All these have significantly increased travel needs to and from these areas.
To cater to these demands, KMDA undertook the 11.3 km extension project of EM Bypass from Dhalai Bridge in Patuli to Paddapukur in Baruipur-Amtala-Paddapukur Road.
The biggest benefit from the extension of EM Bypass is the faster connectivity between Kolkata and Narendrapur, Rajpur, Sonarpur and Baruipur areas, which were earlier connected only by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Road (SH-1). Now, with the parallel extension of EM Bypass, one may reach any of these townships twice as fast as before.
The pressure of traffic on N.S.C. Bose Road has also significantly dropped and the average speed of traffic has improved. The motorists, who were earlier blocked by the traffic congestion mainly due to autorickshaws and other slow moving vehicles on the narrow N.S.C. Bose Road, now have a faster transit.
As it stands now, the recent extension is seeing a rapid change in the surrounding areas. Real estate and commercial activities have rapidly increased in and around the area, which has positively added to the overall economic growth of Kolkata.
Challenges to the project
The primary problem behind the extension of EM Bypass was the acquisition of land from the unauthorised encroachers. The construction of the road started in August 2017. It was reported that the local administration had actually helped KMDA in vacating the encroachers from the land while providing proper rehabilitation. Some electrical utility cables running both over and underground, posed as major obstructions for the widening work and has since then been reported to have been taken care of by the competent authority.
Presently, in the entire stretch of 11.3 km of EM Bypass extension, the south bound lane has a width of 7.2 meter while the north bound lane that of 6 meter.
With a high pressure of traffic on the 1.8 km stretch between the Garia-Dhalai Bridge and Kamalgachi Flyover, both the lanes have been widened up to 11 metre from the initial 7.2 metre, by KMDA. With the Adi Ganga canal running between the right and left lanes of the EM Bypass after Kamalgazi flyover, an underground pipeline of 900 mm and 1000 mm diameter is being laid on both the flanks, for collecting surface run-offs from the roads. Additionally, a 2 metre wide footpath is being laid out for pedestrians along with various other beautification projects, with a total cost of Rs 26 crores. According to Chief Engineer Bhaskar Sengupta, Roads and Bridges department, KMDA, “the project on extention of EM Bypass and the widening of the footwalk is expected to be completed by September 2018. This is going to hugely reduce travel time from Bidhannagar to Baruipur.”
With the recent extension of EM Bypass, motorists now have the option to travel to any destination in South 24 Parganas, bypassing the congested N.S.C. Bose Road. With swifter access, it poses to be one of the most significant developments of the city.
Facts & Figures – Eastern Metropolitan Bypass
Initial length: 15.6 km
From Ultadanga-HUDCO Crossing to Patuli-Dhalai Bridge
Recent Extension: 11.3 km
From Patuli-Dhalai Bridge to Baruipur-Paddapukur
Present length: 26.9 km
From Ultadanga HUDCO Crossing to Baruipur-Paddapukur
Townships Enroute EM Bypass Extension