KOLKATA: The government is planning to break down a part of the perimeter wall of the airport to create a road that will help ease traffic chaos near Gate No. 2.5.
The opening from Gate No. 2.5, which serves as a two-way road through the airport premises connecting VIP Road to Jessore Road, will become a one-way stretch, where small vehicles can take a left to head to the airport or to VIP Road. The new flank will be a one-way drive for small vehicles from VIP Road to Jessore Road.
PWD officials have met the airport authorities who have verbally agreed to the project. Work was scheduled to start next month, officials said.
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“We need to break a 15-m portion of the wall between Gate No. 2.5 and VIP Road-Jessore Road crossing and turn it into an outlet for the road that passes through the airport premises from VIP Road to Jessore Road. This road will be a one-way stretch where vehicles will have to take a compulsory right turn towards Belgharia Expressway,” said a senior PWD official.
The existing Gate No. 2.5 stretch will turn into a one-way road where small vehicles coming from Birati and Belgharia Expressway can take a left turn to head to VIP Road or the airport terminals. “We will also need a small portion of land from the airport authorities to chuck out a portion of the curve on the existing road to increase traffic flow,” the official added.
Representatives of south and north Dum Dum municipalities, Bidhannagar Commissionerate, CESC and National Highway Authority of India were present at the two meetings held between the PWD and airport authorities.
“We have been part of the discussion, but are yet to receive a final blueprint of the project. As of now, we do not have any objection to the razing of the portion of the wall for the sake of the project but can only give a go-ahead on receipt of the final project plan,” said Atul Dikshit, Kolkata airport director.
At present, it takes a traffic block of close to two minutes at the Gate No. 2.5 crossing to allow vehicles to move in different directions, one stretch after another.
The police pointed out that only a flyover, which had been proposed from Gate No. 1 on VIP Road till Gate No. 3 on Jessore Road, was likely to be the only permanent solution. “But until it is sanctioned, this was the best arrangement we could think of. Once the arrangement is in place, the traffic chaos is sure to ease a bit,” said Bhaskar Mukherjee, deputy commissioner of police (airport division).