Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will inaugurate on Friday evening, the 4 km long Garden Reach Flyover connecting Brooklyn crossing, close to Ramnagar at the Garden Reach end and terminating near Majherhat Railway Station.
"There was only a single way to travel to the heart of the city from port areas like Garden Reach, Metiabruz, Rajabagan etc. and that was by crossing the movable bascule bridge. The alternative flyover has been a long standing demand of the residents of the area. We had to overcome a lot of hurdles and now, the flyover is ready to be unveiled," state Urban Development and Municipal Affairs minister Firhad Hakim said.
The flyover will be of immense help to people from the port area, in reaching the heart of the city much earlier. "The trial run of the flyover has been successfully conducted. Light vehicles will be plying above the flyover, while goods vehicles and buses will be taking the old route via Kidderpore," said a senior official of Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA), the implementing agency for the flyover. Kolkata Police will also restrict the movement of motorcycles on the flyover, during night.
It may be mentioned that people in the Port area used to feel that they were somewhat cut off from proper Kolkata, when they had to wait for a long time due to traffic congestion. "Now with this flyover, SSKM and other private hospitals in Alipore area can be reached within a very short time," Hakim said.
The estimated time to cross this stretch through the elevated road will be less than 10 minutes. The road that most vehicles currently take, runs in a different direction and takes between 30 and 40 minutes to cover, mainly because of heavy port traffic.
The revised project cost for the flyover is Rs 339.92 crore and the state has paid a land cost of Rs 36 crore to Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) and Rs 1.43 crore to the Eastern Railway.
"There were a number of decks that needed to be cleared. The permission from the railways took a long time. Work had begun in October 2014 and the deadline was pushed back on more than one occasion," a senior KMDA official said, adding that unavailability of land and encroachments had delayed work on several stretches.