What is more disquieting now for the city dwellers than the frightful traffic jam? And it is not beyond the knowledge of the Communications Minister. Horrible, from Shyamoli to Gulistan, a path of 4-5 kilometres and a journey of half an hour at best took two hours by bus. The other main thoroughfare, Old Airport Road, especially from Jahangir Gate to Sheraton Hotel always sees the dead jam that many times the DS brought to the notice of the authorities through vivid pictures. But it is quite disheartening and dismaying that the new government with over six months in office could improve upon nothing in matters of traffic management, nor it is observed to be wrestling with the problem to reduce the commuters' awful plight.
We only heard some words 'monorail,' 'underpass,' flying in the air, but not a single instance or bit of 'doing something' in this sector did we notice so far. But there is no end of daily addition of vehicles on the same streets with not a single inch being added to, only to make things worse. Whereas the Communications Minister's first meeting with the Engineers of Roads & Highways and DCC/Rajuk should have been to sort out this single but major issue and thrash out what road infrastructure could be built soon, either flyovers, monorails or underpass or metro system, considering their feasibility, cost benefit and time (no over ambitious plan that takes a decade). If that has been done where is the groundwork? To get rid of the 'hell' we have no alternative but to plunge into doing the same on top most priority taking into account both alternatives, how fast we can build the system and how that could be implemented/achieved. The Hon'ble Minister seems to be more interested and busy with the bigger/biggest enterprises like Padma bridge and the road infrastructure of inter-districts.
It would not be out of place to mention here that Kolkata had no flyover in 2000 when I first visited the city and I saw 12 flyovers almost completed when I visited it in 2006 the last time, and what a pity during this time we could build only two. Either jump into building flyovers or underpass on the merit of 'which gives early solution,' or scrap further influx of cars/buses on the streets. Let us walk to our destinations by the pavement, but do not force us to walk on the tailing cars making long lines due to all time gridlocks or snarl-ups.