Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) is planning to float Rs 500-crore financial bonds to raise funds from the market to construct tunnels along city’s major roads and shift all underground utilities to keep the thoroughfares in good health, mayor Firhad Hakim said on Monday.
The mayor added that the idea was to stop repeated digging of major city roads.Though the civic body is yet to draw a comprehensive list of roads that will come under the project, some of the major thoroughfares that may feature on the list are Chittaranjan Avenue, AJC Bose Road, JL Nehru Road, Asutosh Mukherjee Road, Shyamaprasad Mukherjee Road, Gariahat Road and Alipore Road, among others.
The mayor said if funds were available by floating bonds, KMC roads department would take up concretisation of some major roads in phases after construction of the tunnel.
However, a section of the officials in KMC conceded that getting the permission to float bonds won’t be easy. “We had floated bonds and mopped up Rs 50 crore way back in 2002. We had successfully repaid the loan. Now the amount is huge and we hope this time, too, we will be allowed to raise money for infrastructure development,” said a civic official.
Currently, the KMC roads department sanctions NOC for digging of roads by the civic body’s water supply and sewerage-drainage departments apart from agencies like CESC or telecom department. Though the roads department restores the dug-up stretches, frequent digging causes severe undulations that sometimes become a nightmare for motorists.
According to a KMC roads department official, though the civic body had taken up a road ‘smoothening’ project last year, condition of the stretches that were taken up under the project started deteriorating because of further digging. “Though we have decided to continue with the road smoothening project, if funds are available and we can take up the special tunnel project, our roads will get a permanent solution,” said another KMC official.