The Majerhat tragedy is an unfortunate reality. A lesser-known fact though is that immediately after the bridge collapse, Kolkata Traffic Police chalked out effective bypass routes to ease the traffic movements around the erstwhile Majerhat Bridge. The state government even paved a new road and laid out a pair of Bailey Bridges over the Majerhat – Budge Budge railway tracks and a canal in war footing, to handle the traffic smoothly.
In this issue, Team WHEELS gives a lowdown on the alternative routes to access Behala from the main city, bypassing Majerhat Bridge, and narrates the Kolkata Traffic Police traffic advisory for motorists.
Contrary to popular belief, there have been many well-established routes existing in the city for a long time to access Behala, Thakurpukur and further south, and Majerhat Bridge was certainly not the only way. Given below are the main areas that could connect Behala:
4. NEW ALIPORE (BAILEY BRIDGE)
The following routes may be accessed to reach Behala and beyond.
MOMINPUR – BEHALA
1. Mominpur – Diamond Harbour Road – Remount Road – Old Goragachha Road – Hide Road – Brace Bridge – Taratala Road – (Taratala Crossing) – Diamond Harbour Road – Behala
2. Mominpur – Judges Court Road – Alipore Road – Durgapur Bridge – (New Alipore Roundabout) – Bankim Mukherjee Sarani – (Taratala Crossing) – Diamond Harbour Road – Behala
3. Mominpur – Diamond Harbour Road – Majerhat Bridge Service Lane (East) – Garden Reach Flyover – (Ramnagar) – Garden Reach Road – Taratala Road – (Taratala Crossing) – Diamond Harbour Road – Behala
TOLLYGUNGE – BEHALA
1. Tollygunge – Deshapran Sasmal Road – Karunamoyee Bridge – Mahatma Gandhi Road – Behala / Thakurpukur
2. Tollygunge Circular Road – (New Alipore Roundabout) – Bankim Mukherjee Sarani – James Long Sarani – Behala / Thakurpukur
3. Tollygunge Circular Road – (New Alipore Roundabout) – Bankim Mukherjee Sarani – Taratala Crossing – Diamond Harbour Road – Behala
Chetla Central Road – Alipore Road – Durgapur Bridge – (New Alipore Roundabout)>
a) Bankim Mukherjee Sarani – (Taratala Crossing) – Diamond Harbour Road – Behala
b) S N Roy Road – Diamond Harbour Road – Behala
NEW ALIPORE BAILEY BRIDGE – CONNECTOR
A new road within 500 metres, running parallel to the collapsed Majerhat Bridge, was constructed along with the laying of a pair of Bailey Bridges over the Majerhat – Budge Budge railway tracks and a canal adjacent to it in a very short period of time to open just before Durga Puja for handling the traffic of the festival and thereafter.
The flow of traffic on Bailey Bridge is one-way through the new route as follows:
Morning to 5 pm: North-bound vehicles to ply through the Bailey Bridge, i.e., traffic from Behala-side will go towards Alipore-side.
Taratala Crossing – Diamond Harbour Road – (Calcutta Mint) – Nalini Ranjan Avenue – (New Alipore HDFC Bank) – Bailey Bridge – Alipore Avenue – Alipore Park Road – Alipore Traffic Roundabout (SBI Traffic Island).
Thereafter one may pass through (i) Burdwan Road – New Road – Judges Court Road or (ii) Alipore Road – Chetla Central Road and Rashbehari Avenue to reach the main city.
5 pm – 10 pm: Traffic to ply south-bound on the Bailey Bridge, i.e. from Alipore-side to Behala-side by the following route.
Alipore Traffic Roundabout (SBI Traffic Island) – Alipore Park Road – Alipore Avenue – Bailey Bridge – (New Alipore HDFC Bank) – Bankim Mukherjee Sarani (Sahapur Road) – Diamond Harbour Road – (Taratala Crossing)
After 10 pm: Traffic runs north-bound by the ‘Morning to 5 pm’ route.
Traffic circulation around MAJERHAT BRIDGE
1) Both-bound vehicular traffic will move along Alipore Road from its crossing with Chetla Central Road to Burdwan Road.
2) Raja Santosh Road will be made west-bound for vehicular traffic from its crossing with Alipore Road up to Alipore Park Road. However, both bound vehicles will be allowed along Raja Santosh Road as and when required.
3) Only east-bound vehicular traffic from Diamond Harbour Road will ply along Nalini Ranjan Avenue from 6.00 am to 5.00 pm.
4) Between 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm Nalini Ranjan Avenue will continue to be east-bound, being a 24 hrs. one-way towards New Alipore Triangular Park.
5) Between 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm only west-bound one-way vehicular traffic towards Diamond Harbour Road from Bankim Mukherjee Sarani (Sahapur Road) will ply between New Alipore Triangular Park and Diamond Harbour Road. (Bankim Mukherjee Sarani plies both-ways between the New Alipore Triangular Park and New Alipore Traffic Roundabout).
Vehicles from Budge Budge:
City-bound buses from Budge Budge area are diverted from Jinjira Bazar crossing via Taratala Road – Brooklyn Road – Garden Reach Flyover – Remount Road – Diamond Harbour Road.
Movement of Heavy / Goods Vehicles:
1) No goods vehicles are allowed to ply from 6.00 am to 11.00 pm along the following thoroughfares:
Diamond Harbour Road / Taratala Road / Hide Road / Sahapur Road / Alipore Station Road / Tollygunge Circular Road / DPS Road / Prince Anwar Shah Road / NSC Bose Road / Alipore Road / Belvedere Road / Central Garden Reach Road.
2) No goods vehicle coming from 24-Parganas (South) via Diamond Harbour Road and Budge Budge Trunk Road and from Howrah Commissionerate area via Vidyasagar Setu are allowed to enter Kolkata between 6.00 am and 11.00 pm.
3) Tram service will remain suspended along Central Garden Reach Road – Diamond Harbour Road and Judges Court Road.
4) All heavy vehicles and Behala-bound buses availing Diamond Harbour Road from Hastings Crossing are diverted via Khidirpore Crossing – Central Garden Reach Road – Hide Road – Brace Bridge – Taratala Road – (Taratala Crossing) – Diamond Harbour Road – further south.
5) All north-bound vehicles of Diamond Harbour Road are diverted from Taratala Crossing via Taratala Road – Brace Bridge – Hide Road – Central Garden Reach Road – Hastings Crossing.
In conclusion then, it is evident that a tragedy that could have potentially become a long-term mayhem and blocked access to a highly populated and commercially booming part of the city was in fact dealt with an impressively short time by the government and police to offer multiple options to commuters. The city motorists can now confidently face the task of travelling to Behala and not suffer under the misconception that there are no options. Team WHEELS reports that all traffic movements around the area are normal. Sally forth, brave traveller – and choose a road less travelled!