Rs 4,000-cr metro rail project proposed

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New avenues

A global tendering

process to begin soon for the Panihati-Joka road link project

To ease car

parking problems, a seven-km area in the heart of the city was under consideration now.

Kolkata, July 13

Describing Kolkata as an over-populated city with rapidly reducing road space vis-à-vis vehicular density, Mr Subhas Chakraborty, State Minister in charge of Transport, said here on Thursday that the city badly needed a two-tier road system, such as ring roads and elevated roadways as existing roads cannot be expanded any further.

The Minister was participating in an interactive session on "New avenues of traffic and transport infrastructure for Kolkata", organised by the Bharat Chamber of Commerce.

Seeking support from the chambers of commerce to improve the transport system in the city and the districts as well, he said a DPR was being prepared for a proposed new Metro Rail project from Santragachi to Rajarhat (new town), at a cost of Rs 4,000 crore. Besides this, a global tendering process is set to begin soon for the Panihati-Joka road link project, coming up with Japanese assistance and Government of India support.

Car parking woes

Pointing out that car parking was a huge problem at Kolkata's central business district, he said a seven-km area in the heart of the city, under control of the Metro Rail authorities, was under consideration now. Pleading the State Government's helplessness in addressing many of the avoidable problems, largely due to pending court cases and other problems, Mr Chakraborty said Kolkata was perhaps the only metro city without a central bus terminus.

"We are exploring all avenues to have this terminus constructed," he added.

Tackling emissions

Commenting on steps to tackle vehicular emissions problems, Mr Md Kamran, Director, Public Vehicles Department, Government of West Bengal, said 76 more vehicle testing centres with upgraded equipment such as Web cameras and so on were being set up, in addition to the 12 existing ones.

He said there was a plan to network the testing centres with the PVD headquarters to conduct online checking of vehicles on receipt of reports.

Traffic discipline

Unveiling Kolkata Police's vision of Future Traffic Management of Kolkata, Mr Ranvir Kumar, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic), said strict enforcement of traffic discipline, especially speed checking, was being taken up with the help of latest equipment such as radars and red light cameras to nab the habitual offenders.

Fatal road accidents during holidays and early morning hours was a matter of concern, he pointed out.

Traffic signal synchronisation with the help of advanced computers at control rooms was now under study, he added.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated July 14, 2006)
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