As someone whose better part of childhood was spent in Dhakuria, I know how important the arterial Raja Subodh Mullick Road cum Gariahat Road South is. It connects the hitherto southern suburbia with Ballygunge and beyond, the once landfall point to the south of this great city.
Up to late 60s the urban life of Kolkata used to thin beyond Ballygunge to its east and south where the boundaries used to be the railway tracks – the Sealdah South tracks at Ballygunge Station and the Budge Budge tracks across which was Dhakuria.
The first flyover on the key arterial came up in early 70s, and people rejoiced that Dhakuria is no longer ‘far’ from Gol Park and Ballygunge.
Almost 4 decades have since gone by, but the main connector from Garia to Ballygunge has seen no real improvement except the Gariahat flyover some 3-4 years back.
This doesn’t mean people have stopped using the road. In fact the number of people using the road in public conveyance or in owned vehicles has increased alarmingly sharply.
The road has no space to expand laterally, and beyond Jadavpur it turns out as a great place for performing circus. All kinds of things that move try to jostle past one another in a constant free-for-all one-upmanship.
The bad news is that close to Jadavpur PS a massive complex, South City, has come up which has the potential of making every nightmare look inconsequential.
It’s time for the mandarins to wake up from deep slumber, which they have with all their skilled might.
The result is the proposal for building 2 flyovers (see the TT schematic below). One will be at the Lord’s crossing on Prince Anwar Shah Road. This will pass by South City with probably a pair of connections to it from the complex.
The South City builders want to share the cost to the extent of Rs.12 crore. There will be another new road at the back of the South City complex that will connect with Ghulam Mohammad Shah Road across a big jheel.
The second flyover is perhaps what matters more. This will stretch over the Jadavpur PS crossing and end just before the present Dhakuria Bridge.
Experts feel the twin flyovers will ease the flow of traffic to a large extent. The catchwords here are ‘large extent’.
There is every reason to feel skeptical because a place that hasn’t seen – it’s pretty much the same in the entire Kolkata in fact – any road development in the last 4 decades is like an old bag with thousand holes that can never prevent the ‘leaking’ of wishful thinking no matter how attractive they seem to ordinary eyes.