KMDA, RVNL promise better coordination for Bypass upkeep

KOLKATA: Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) and Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) have decided to work in tandem to end the nightmare on EM Bypass.

While KMDA is responsible for maintenance of the artery, railways subsidiary RVNL is constructing a viaduct on it to execute the New Garia-Aiport Metro corridor. Both agencies have now decided to conduct meetings at regular intervals so that they can coordinate in a better manner and improve the road’s weakening health.

There may be issues between government agencies. But they need to be sorted out without affecting public safety. Stretches of EM Bypass are full of giant potholes and one is exposed to ragged surfaces shorn of asphalt here and there. Slowed down vehicles keep turning left and then right to avoid hitting potholes. Some, like Kazi Samim Mirza, ran out of luck on Monday and was run over at Panchannagram.

“EM Bypass is at the crossroads, where its custodian KMDA, and RVNL, that’s building the New Garia-Airport link, do their bits without much result. It’s time to end this, and we have decided to have both agencies convene meetings for a more coordinated approach towards repair of various stretches,” an urban development official said on Thursday.

RVNL officials hailed the idea. One of them said, “We are ready to cooperate. We have already paid KMDA Rs 14.3 crore for building the medians along EM Bypass. While building medians, KMDA is also repairing the road in the middle because the removal of the green patches with median calls for extensive road building. However, we need completion certificates so that more funds can be released.”

For now, the Bypass will only get temporary patchwork. Craters are being filled with brick pieces, which are also getting washed out by rain. “It’s impossible to do permanent work amid rain because the stretches where Metro work is on get waterlogged after intense rain. As a result, potholes resurface. Patchwork is a continuous process and we will carry out the repairs whenever there is a dry spell,” a KMDA official said.