December 14, 2016 12:18:43 am
Once the East-West Metro becomes operational in mid-2018, Sealdah station in Kolkata is expected to see an increase in footfall — from 16 lakh to nearly 21 lakh. This in mind, the transport department and police have come up with a plan to decongest the station area.
Among the projects that the departments have included is a proposed skywalk from Sealdah station to APC Road near Kaiser Street crossing. Meanwhile, two more ramps will also included for vehicles, said officials.
While one would lead to the station, the other to BB Ganguly Street.
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“Once the ramps are ready, station-bound cars from the north will not have to negotiate the almost permanently blocked B R Singh Hospital crossing,” an official said.
They added that the decongestion plan took shape at a meeting last month, where different representatives of the state government, police and railway were present.
The creation of separate space for private buses has also been proposed.
At the station, almost 16 different routes terminate or begin from a small 500 m stretch on APC Road — between Rajabazar Science College and the Kaiser Street crossing.
“The transport department has been tasked with creating parking space for almost 60 buses and minibuses on the 16 routes inside the tram depot. A considerable part of the thoroughfare will become free if the buses can be accommodated inside the depot,” said the official.
The decongestion plan also includes the construction of four footbridges and subways.
Explaining the importance of the decongestion plan, an official of the Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation Limited (KMRCL) said, “Around 16 lakh people use Sealdah station right now. With the EW Metro station in Sealdah, we expect another 5 lakh people to use the station. If we don’t take steps right now, the situation will be absolutely impossible to manage.”
The first phase of the East-West Metro, between Salt Lake Sector V and Sealdah, is likely to become operational by June, 2018.
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