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       Sunday respite for Behala, South 24 Parganas commuters
         Posted on :17:45:52 Sep 9, 2018
       Last edited on:17:45:52 Sep 9, 2018
         Tags: Behala, Parganas

KOLKATA: Vehicular movement in southwest Kolkata, which had gone haywire for the last few days owing to closure of a section of the arterial Diamond Harbour Road following the collapse of the Majerhat bridge, was normal on Sunday with the day being a holiday, a traffic police officer said.

People travelling to and from the south-western parts of the city and South 24 Parganas district were having an average delay of one hour to two-and-a-half hours in reaching their destinations ever since the 50-year-old bridge collapsed on Tuesday.

To mitigate the travel woes, police has banned entry of 20 or more-wheeled trailer trucks in the city and has given a window till 6 am on Monday for such vehicles, which are still in the city, to leave.

The restrictions on large vehicles was announced by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as a precaution following the collapse of the bridge.

Four old bridges have also been declared closed for loaded trucks and other vehicles carrying goods to avoid any further disaster. These are Belgachhia bridge, Aurobindo Setu, Bijan Setu and Tollygunge Circular Bridge.

Several hundred trucks are waiting at Kolaghat, Asansol, Dankuni and Krishnanagar for permission to enter the city, West Bengal Truck Operators Association general secretary Subhas Chandra Bose said.

"The main problem is overloading of trucks and the police and Motor Vehicles department must act to stop this menace as this leads to damage of roads and bridges," Bose said.

Kolkata Police authorities said they are coordinating with the neighbouring districts to ease traffic congestion on highways leading to the city, as curbs on goods vehicle movement after the bridge collapse had led to hundreds of trucks being left waiting to enter the city for unloading and loading goods.

Wholesale market operators in Kolkata have expressed concern over the long waiting period of vehicles carrying perishable goods like fish, eggs, milk, fruits and vegetables for entering the city.

The city police said Saturday it is working hard to ease traffic congestion and has assured people of cutting down their travel time by next week.

Announcing this after a high-level meeting with senior officers at the state secretariat, Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar said that steps were being taken to mitigate travel woes of commuters.

Kumar said that construction of alternative roads are being thought of at the Majerhat area with the help of the Railways and a meeting with the city police and Railway officials has been scheduled on Monday.

The city police top brass held a meeting at the Lalbazar headquarter to chalk out traffic movement in the affected areas so that people can reach their destination faster.

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