Exactly 14 months before the revised deadline of September 2013, the 15.5 km-long Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) along the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass is only 13 per cent complete .

Implemented by the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA), the Rs 250-crore project, funded by the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission , has missed the original schedule for completion in March 2012.

Mr Vivek Bharadwaj, Chief Executive Officer of KMDA, however, claims that the project will be completed according to the revised schedule.

Delayed progress

Proposed to have dedicated bus bays on both flanks, the rapid transit system will connect Ultadanga in North Kolkata with Garia in the South. The project would require the EM Bypass — the major arterial road that connects the Eastern fringes (that includes the IT hub in Salt Lake and Rajarrhat New Town) — to be widened from the existing 45 metres to 76 metres.

According to KMDA reports, only 12.68 per cent of the construction has been complete so far. Nearly, 76 per cent of the excavation and earth work has been carried out by the Hyderabad-based construction major, IVRCL.

According to a KMDA official, who declined to be named, even though land filling for the project started early last year, construction could not progress due to the delay in resolving some technical issues. The State Assembly elections in May 2011 also hindered its progress, he added. Apart from land filling, other sections of the project like laying service roads and extension of culverts, are yet to pick up pace. Out of the 28 culverts or small bridges to be constructed along the stretch, tender has been awarded only for one culvert.