The harrowing experience people going to Durgapur and beyond often face due to massive traffic snarls will be a thing of the past, as the long-awaited Panagarh bypass will be ready for use by next month.
According to an official of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), the 6 km-long bypass, a small stretch of which has been constructed using Panelled Concrete technology, will be inaugurated in August.
It may be mentioned that traffic congestion on National Highway 2 has been a major problem due to the presence of the Panagarh Market, where scrap military vehicles were sold. People from different parts of the country come to the market to buy scrap vehicles and motor parts.
From Shaktiman trucks to Royal Enfield bullets, several vehicles used to be parked in long lines on roads in front of the shops, leading to traffic congestion.
Many a times, it would take people three to four hours to reach Durgapur from Panagarh.
After coming to power, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took the initiative to ensuree that no vehicles would remain parked in front of the shops. It solved the problem of traffic congestion to a certain extent; but the need for a bypass was also felt.
As Durgapur is a part of the Golden Quadrilateral and is an economically significant part of the state, hundreds of people – including top entrepreneurs – travel from Kolkata to Durgapur everyday by road. A Volvo bus service functions as well, connecting Durgapur with the central business district in the city. The opening of the bypass will solve the problem of long distance travel and delays to due to traffic congestion on the national highway will also be minimised.
Interestingly, roughly 300 m of the entire stretch of the bypass has been constructed using the Panelled Concrete Technology, with the support of IIT Kharagpur. According to the NHAI official, it has been done on an experimental basis as it is more cost effective than the previous process of constructing concrete roads and the maintenance of such roads will also cost less.
He said that the Bombay-Pune Expressway was constructed using older technology in 2000. After 15 years, some issues related to the expressway have surfaced. Hence, NHAI is trying the new technology. It seems the new technology will get approval and might be implemented for constructing roads in future.
The official further added that the expansion work of National Highway 34 on two stretches from Behrampore to Raigunj is almost complete. But there are certain problems in carrying out the road expansion work from Dhupguri to Falakata.
However, the expansion work from Raiganj to Dalkhola and Behrampore to Krishnagar is expected to be over in the next two or two and half years.