Narrow road

After arm tragedy, cops want smaller buses on narrow road | Calcutta News

KOLKATA: Road safety officers from Thakurpukur wrote to the state transport department on Friday to replace the large 2.5m-wide buses running on MG Road between Tollygunge and Kabardanga with smaller 2.2m wide to avoid accidents like Thursday, when a man standing on the running board of a bus lost his arm when the vehicle brushed against the pillar of a house on a particularly narrow stretch near Karunamoyee.

Police officers pointed out that the section near the Karunamoyee Kali temple, where the crash took place, was only 7.5m wide, roughly allowing two large buses to pass each other. “For a smooth passage, such a bus needs a width of at least 5 m, which means that for traffic in both directions, the road must be at least 10 m wide. But on MG Road some stretches are as narrow as 7m. So we asked the state transportation department to replace the larger buses with smaller AC and non-AC buses, including electric vehicles, ”a traffic official said. He added that they had been looking for smaller 30-seater buses that were 2.2m wide and could maneuver more easily on the narrow road (some parts were just 7m wide).
According to an official in the transport department, they had 40 small AC buses and 80 non-AC buses, of which at least 30% ran in Behala, Tollygunge and Thakurpukur. “When these small buses were introduced, it was decided to drive them on narrow roads, on which larger buses have difficulty navigating,” he said.

On Thursday, Utpal Karmakar, a tailor, was hanged from the footboard of a crowded bus on the S4C route, when the bag on his left shoulder got stuck between the bus and the pillar of a house, tearing his arm off his elbow . After the accident, the driver fled but was later caught by officers from Haridevpur Police Station. “The driver, Nitailal Shil, has been on the road for many years. He is aware of the sharp turns on the narrow stretch, but claimed there was literally no space to make room for a vehicle on the opposite side and he must have grazed the house, which led to tragedy, ”said one officer.
To avoid a repeat, cops took to the roads on Friday, preventing people from traveling on the running boards of crowded buses or reaching out of windows. “We didn’t chase people the first day. We told them not to stick their elbows out and also let down those who were hanging from the footboard. But we have warned the drivers and drivers that they will be prosecuted if they do not check the behavior of the passengers, ”said an officer. A team also installed reflectors and warning signs on buildings on the rugged stretch, including the house Karmakar’s hand was dragged against.
Police said other issues affecting the stretch were the lack of sidewalks and the presence of utility poles on the road. Cops reported at least three locations – one in front of Karunamoyee Kali temple, near the Haridevpur bus terminus and in Kathpole near Keorapukur Bazar – where the width of the road was 7-8m wide. “On top of that, utility poles eat into space. We asked KMC to move the poles to the side of the road, ”said an officer.
Pedestrians said it has become regular for cycles and vehicles to brush against them. “It’s a single-lane road, used by vehicles, pedestrians and hawkers. It’s risky when the buses go by at full speed, ”said Divya Sarkar, a resident of Haridevpur.


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