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The Eastern Metropolitan Bypass, or simply E.M. Bypass, is a major road on the east side of Kolkata that connects Bidhannagar on the northeast to southern parts (Kamalgazi) of Kolkata. It was designed like a bypass or beltway on the eastern side of Kolkata to lessen the perennial traffic congestion on the entire stretch of Gariahat Road. Subsequent to the construction of this road, several connectors have been built to connect Gariahat Road to the EM Bypass to deviate traffic away from the Gariahat Road. This, along with moving significant parts of public and private offices to Bidhannagar is deemed necessary to maintain the future growth of Kolkata.
Starting from the northern hub of Ultadanga to Kamalgazi in the south, the road runs a distance of 21 km along the eastern rim of the city and is one of the most important roads of the metropolis, and can be described as one of its economic lifelines. Plans are currently underway to extend the road to the Falta Export Processing Zone (FEPZ) at Falta on the Hooghly River.
Connectors and overpasses
A number of 'connectors' or connecting roads link the bypass to major hubs of the city all along its route. From north to south, these are
- Maniktala connector connecting Maniktala market
- Beleghata connector connecting Sealdah railway station
- J B S Haldane Avenue (also referred as Park Circus connector) connecting the Park Circus area.
- Rash Behari connector connecting Kalighat, Deshapriya Park, Gariahat and Kasba
- Prince Anwar Shah connector connecting Dhakuria, Jodhpur Park, Selimpur, Lake Gardens
- Santoshpur Avenue connecting Santoshpur and Jadavpur
- Baishnabghata/ Patuli/ Garia connector
- The Garia Station Road serves as a connector from the Garia Rail station to the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass and also from the Shitala Mandir Bus Stand of Garia to the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass
The most important among them are the Park Circus connector and Rash Behari connector. The former can be taken to commute to Howrah, which is a prime transport hub of the metropolis. The connector meets the bypass at a junction where a major landmark, the Science City, is located. The latter connects to Gariahat, a prime market and shopping area of the city. It meets the bypass at the Ruby Hospital. Landmarks and institutions like these dot both the sides of the bypass, and have become the sign of the newly resurgent Kolkata economy. The Taj Gateway Hotel is on the Bypass (opposite to Ruby Hospital). The Acropolis mall cum commercial building is coming up on this major connector.
Some prominent flyovers (overpasses) facilitate quicker flow of traffic along the bypass. One is Chingrighata flyover connecting Salt Lake, Sector V and Rajarhat (New Town). In January 2011, the Ultadanga flyover connecting VIP road was opened for public. This flyover bypasses the traffic-dense Ultadanga crossing for a quicker access to the airport from south through VIP Road.
Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) is currently building a 40-metre bridge across the Guniagachha canal and the existing road from the Bypass to Jora Bridge along New Horizon School and Santoshpur stadium is being widened and strengthened to carry more traffic.
The Bypass is undergoing a major expansion, under the JnNURM. The road, presently with four lanes, is being expanded to accommodate eight lanes of traffic, of which four are to be reservlaces, and therefore the expansion is creating issues for residents. Moreover, there are concerns regarding the drainage. This, added with the construction of the overhead Metro Railway lines and a number of flyovers has taken its toll on the road, which is even more evident during monsoon. However, repairs work is done in parts, although service roads, especially in the southern parts are in pretty bad shape. This poses problems for commuters, often causing traffic snarls.
A long flyover is being constructed near Parama Island which will run along the Park Circus Connector, connecting EM Bypass with Park Circus. However, the flyover will virtually help in making a seamless, no signal traffic corridor from EM Bypass to Alipore. The flyover is stated to be connected with the existing AJC Bose Road Flyover.
Some of the major landmarks located on this stretch of road are:
- Mani Square Mall, Metro Cash and Carry (wholesale departmental store)
- Headquarters of All India Trinamool Congress, a political party
- 5-star Hotels like the Hyatt Regency, ITC Sonar 2 (another property beside ITC Sonar Bangla, is under construction), JW Marriott which is under construction , Taj Gateway
- Institutions like the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Govt. College of Engineering and Leather Technology, Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute, Meghnad saha institute of technology, Heritage Institute of Technology, St. Xavier's College (2nd campus)
- Cultural and social landmarks like the Salt Lake Stadium, Swabhumi, Science City, Trade fair area (behind ITC)
- Medical facilities like the Apollo Glanagles Hospital, Ruby Hospital, Rabindranath Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences, Peerless Hospital and B.K.Roy Research Centre, Fortis Hospital, Fortis, Desun Hospital, MEDICA Multispeciality
- The head office of the Bengali newspaper Bartaman.
- Calcutta International School
- Car showrooms of BMW (Silver Arcade, adjacent to Silver Spring complex), Mercedes Benz (Arcadia Centre) and Nissan (PS Pace)
- Hiland Park including the Metropolis Mall, Silver Spring, Ideal Center
E.M Bypass has seen a massive real estate surge and is one of the most sought after areas in Kolkata. The area has several apartment complexes on its stretch. The first to come up was Udayan near Santoshpur on private-public partnership. It has about 700 flats for High Income Group (HIG) and 700 more for middle and low income groups. Two more complexes - Hiland Park and Kolkata Greens have come up nearby.
Recently three more complexes have come up near the Anwar Shah connector. They are Abhishikta, Ruchira Residency and Greenwood Nook. Up north near the ITC Sonar hotel, the Silver Spring apartment complex was built. Further north, there are the Mani Karan apartments opposite Salt lake stadium.
There are several shopping malls on E.M.Bypass. On the north end near Apollo Hospital, the Mani Square Mall has come up in 2008. Its anchor stores are Westside and Spencers'. It has a McDonalds joint and an IMAX multiplex. The City Center shopping complex in Salt Lake is also close to the E. M. Bypass.
The Silver Arcade near the Silver Springs apartment complex has several good restaurants.
Adjacent to the Udayan residential complex, the Unnayan shopping plaza is quite popular for its restaurants, snack joints, grocery store, liquor stores, bar, Internet cafes and other stores. A similar shopping plaza, Abhisar has come up near the Anwar Shah crossing and it houses Spencers'.
Towards south, adjacent to Hiland Park complex is the Metropolis shopping mall. It houses Fame movie multiplex. Its anchor store is Big Bazaar.
- "Flyover from Parama to Park Circus". KMDA. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
- "EM Bypass Connector from Padmapukur to Kamalgazi". KMDA. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
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