New Alipore feels ripple effect of Chetla Lock Gate bridge closure | Kolkata News

Fibo Quantum

KOLKATA: A year after the Majerhat bridge collapse, residents of New Alipore and Chetla had struggled to come to terms with the traffic pressure. However, just when they were getting used to it, locals have to deal with another round of traffic disruptions as more cars flood the streets from Monday. The Chetla Lock Gate bridge — which acted as an alternative route for cars and shuttle services coming from Esplanade and AJC Bose Road flyover, besides serving the local population — has been permanently shut. This means more pressure on Durgapur Bridge.

“Durgapur Bridge is already handling huge pressure as many prefer it over the Bailey bridge that is one-way and its level crossing has to be often shut to allow trains to pass. Now, with so many more cars taking this route, we are worried that the only link to New Alipore and Behala from Alipore might start getting clogged. I have personally decided to use my car less and take the Metro instead. Tollygunge Phanri is also always a mess and the wait there is a good 25 minutes,” said an officer.
On Saturday, with low vehicular pressure due to it being a weekend, commuters found buses being stopped from taking Durgapur Bridge and diverted towards Tollygunge Phanri. A bus passenger who travelled from Rashbehari to Taratala in the evening said it took him an hour and five minutes for the journey which usually takes around 15 minutes. Cops, however, refused to furnish any explanation on why the buses were being diverted, simply calling it a stop-gap arrangement.
According to a member of the bridge advisory committee, the steel superstructures of both Chetla Lock Gate bridge and Chitpore bridge are heavy corroded. “During inspection, it was found that the steel structure of the Chetla Lock Gate bridge has been completely ravaged. The situation is the same with Chitpore bridge over Circular Canal near Kolkata station,” said an official, adding that both these bridges will eventually be dismantled and the KMDA will have to come up with an alternative alignment.
The KMDA has started working on plans to set up an alternative bridge to replace Chitpore bridge. The new bridge has been planned across the Circular Canal connecting Canal West Road and Kolkata Station Road to decongest RG Kar Road and reduce traffic load on the old bridge that connects Belgachhia with Shyambazar.