West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO) has set up a three-men committee to study the possibility of an alternate route bypassing Eco Park which will be used during festive season.
The committee comprises senior officials from the engineering, management and planning departments. It will submit its report within a month and their suggestions will be taken up by the police to prepare a comprehensive traffic management programme.
Eco Park is the most popular tourist destination in New Town and 1.40 lakh people visited the place on January 1 this year. On Saturdays and Sundays, thousands of people visit the area.
Availability of a traffic management plan in and around Eco Park on special days has become necessary after a massive traffic jam affected smooth flow of traffic along Biswa Bangla Sarani on New Year’s Day.
It took nearly three to four hours to ease traffic movement and many people failed to catch their international flights.
On January 1, after the gates of Eco Park were closed around 6 pm, thousands of people spilled on the road to catch public transport, which resulted in large traffic bottle neck on Biswa Bangla Sarani.
Moreover, there was chaos after hundreds of car owners who had parked their vehicles in the parking lot tried to take out their cars.
To find out an alternate route, the Ring Road behind Eco Park may be widened to accommodate heavy volume of traffic. The existing road between the Aliah University and Financial hub is wide and if it can be extended then this stretch can be used as an alternative route.
A comprehensive traffic management plan for New Town is underway but that does not include management of traffic on specified dates. Unless alternate traffic routes are created, the picture of chaos and uncertainty will be the same every year.
Take an example from the last week of December, there was heavy rush of people at Alipur Zoo garden but because of inadequacy of traffic management scheme for that one week, Vidyasagar setu bound vehicles from south Kolkata and southern fringes faced enormous problem.