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Space constraint delaying work on foot overbridges: Sovan

Kolkata: Mayor Sovan Chatterjee said on Monday that space constraint has delayed the construction of foot overbridges in the city, which have been planned to curb accidents.
Responding to a poser from BJP councillor Tishta Biswas (Das) of ward 86, regarding stoppage of work in a couple of foot overbridges on Gariahat Road and in front of Ballygunge Siksha Sadan at the monthly session of KMC, Chatterjee said, "The foot overbridges that we have proposed to construct will have escalators, along with other modern amenities to facilitate the movement of pedestrians. This requires a reasonable amount of space."
"We are in constant touch with Kolkata Police and are holding meetings on a regular basis to overcome this paucity of space, which has resulted in delay of work. We are hopeful that things will be sorted out soon," Chatterjee said.
It may be mentioned that KMC is facing problems with space constraints not only at Gariahat Road and Ballygunge Siksha Sadan, but also at Exide crossing.
The Mayor said that KMC and Kolkata Police have to ensure that construction of these foot overbridges causes no hindrance to the smooth flow of traffic in the city.
It may be mentioned that KMC has earmarked some spots in the city for construction of these foot bridges
under PPP mode, for the safety of pedestrians.
The places include - Deshapriya Park, Ballygunge Siksha Sadan, Gariahat Road, South City, Exide Crossing, Turf View Road and Alipore Zoological Gardens. The spots were selected on the basis of their proximity to frequent road accidents.
However, KMC and Kolkata Police are worried that the foot overbridges existing in the city are severely underutilised. "Despite the presence of elevators in some of these FOBs, people hardly use them. So we have plans to put up guard rails on the divider to make people use them," an official in KP's traffic wing said.
The civic body is also planning to take a tough stand to make pedestrians use the FOBs. "We will urge KP to impose fine to the extent of Rs 2,000, to curb this practice," a senior KMC official said.

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