Millennium Post

To reduce accidents on Basanti Highway, precarious stretches to be made correct

Kolkata: Bringing a small change in the alignment of three bridges on Basanti Highway besides widening it, the state government is going to put an end to the decade-old problem of fatal road accidents on the major thoroughfare connecting Taki and Sunderbans with Kolkata.
In a recent development, the state government has engaged West Bengal Highway Development Corporation Limited (WBHDCL) to widen the highway. Widening of the road was proposed by many senior police officers and engineers to check road accidents since the Left Front period but no steps were ever taken. Now, the Mamata Banerjee-government is going to implement the project.
During a visit to the place before preparing a Detailed Project Report (DPR), engineers of WBHDCL found that the alignment of three bridges on the road over canals need to be changed to reduce the rate of accidents. So, besides constructing a two way carriageway with road dividers, the engineers decided to build new bridges with new alignment replacing all the three old ones.
Earlier, visibility was affected due to poor road alignment. Drivers could not spot vehicles coming from the opposite direction or if parked along road as a result, there were frequent collision between vehicles.
Moreover, often vehicles fall into the canals and such accidents claim lives. While examining the existing bridges, the engineers found that there are sharp around 90 degrees turns where the ends of the bridges meet the roads and they realised that the drivers couldn't control their speeding vehicles at such sharp turns and fell into the canal.
In a bid to bring an end to the menace, senior officials of the WBHDCL have decided to build "skew" bridge with improved alignment so that drivers can see the roads unhindered.
An official said that since there will be road dividers in between, there will be hardly any chances of head on collisions with the completion of the entire project and at the same time, with construction of the new bridges with an improved alignment, it will also reduces chances of vehicles falling into canals while taking the sharp turns.
The work to prepare the DPR is going on and the corporation is taking all steps to initiate the work as early as possible.
An official said: "This is an important road connecting Kolkata with Taki and Sunderbans. The work to widen it and to put proper road signages will be carried out on a stretch of 23 km from the point where Basanti Highway intersects with Eastern Metropolitan Bypass up to Ghatakpukur in South 24 Parganas. Most importantly, three bridges will be replaced with new ones that will give a clear vision to drivers".
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