The entrance to Dakshineswar temple suffices as an essay on the world of chaos, as thousands of devotees throng the temple premises, trying to make their way through snarling traffic. Traffic flow coming from Bally Bridge comes to a standstill near Dakshineswar crossing during special Pujo days due to heavy rush of devotees and cars entering the temple premises.
Walkway for devotees in Dakshineswar
To ease the traffic situation, the state government will build a walkway to connect Dakshineswar metro station, coming up just beside the main railway station, to the temple gate so that devotees can avoid the street hustle.
People can directly emerge from the metro station, which is going to be built at a good height, and use an escalator to reach the walkway.
“We are planning to lay the foundation stone on January 1, coinciding with Kalpataru Utsab. We are waiting for the Union urban development ministry’s nod,” said Firhad Hakim, the state urban development minister.
Shops occupying pavements on both sides of the road, leading to more congestion, will be shifted to the first-floor level to make way for cars and pedestrians. These shops selling puja items can be accessed from various points on the walkway and pedestrians can use escalators to reach the shops.
A four-storey building is being planned on the left side of the temple gate, near the parking area, that will house sweet shops and a dormitory.
The state urban development department has sought JNNURM funds from the Centre for the estimated Rs 43 crore project.
The walkway to the temple will not only help in beautification of the place, considered as a major tourist attraction, but will also make life easier for the devotees and commuters.
Jetty to connect Dakshineswar to Belur
The state government has also taken up a project worth Rs 5.5 crore that will benefit a lot of pilgrims. The government plans to construct a jetty at Dakshinewar; ferry service from the jetty will connect Belur Math and Kuthi Ghat in Baranagar with Dakshineswar.
When the jetty becomes operational, passengers can reach Dakshineswar from Howrah and Kolkata via the river route. Recently, a launch, MV Nataraj, has been introduced which would halt at Howrah, Bagbazar, Baranagar, Belur and Ariadaha at present. After the jetty construction, the service will be extended till the Dakshineswar temple. More vessels will be introduced later.