Barrackpore Trunk Road
BT Road
Barrackpore Trunk Road highlighted in red
BT Road, Panihati
Route information
Length18.1 km (11.2 mi)
Existed1775–present
Major junctions
FromBarrackpore
ToShyambazar
Location
StatesWest Bengal
DistrictsKolkata and North 24 Parganas
Highway system

Barrackpore Trunk Road, commonly known as BT Road, is a four and six-lane trunk road in Kolkata metropolitan area, West Bengal, India. It connects Kolkata with its suburb Barrackpore. Built in 1775, it is the oldest metalled road and one of the busiest roads in the country. The 18.1 km (11.2 mi) long road is a part of both State Highway 1 and State Highway 2.

Barrackpore Trunk Road has multiple institutes and other landmarks along it, like the Indian Statistical Institute and Rabindra Bharati University. Once the areas around the road were industrial zones, but gradually, residential areas sprawled and replaced the industries. The city's 160-year-old water supply pipeline runs under the road. An elevated metro line was planned in 2010–2011 over the road from Baranagar to Barrackpore. It has a major intersection at Dunlop.

Route description

The 18.1-kilometre (11.2-mile)

Barrackpore was the first British cantonment in India, set up in 1772.[9][10] To connect it with the then country capital, Calcutta, the trunk road was built in 1775; it was the first metalled road in India and is also one of the busiest roads in the country.[11][12]

Later the areas like Khardah, Sodepur and Titagarh, along BT Road grew into industrial zones. Some of the notable mills were Mohini Mills in Belghoria, Basanti Cotton Mills in Khardah Jute Mill etc. But during the late 1970–80s, deindustrialization began under the then Chief Minister Jyoti Basu's tenure in the state.[13] This led to a shift from heavy industries to small and cottage industries, with many of the industrial developments on the road closing. Gradually, property developers took up the vacant lands and built housing infrastructure along the road.[14] The announcement of metro projects also increased the demand of residential properties.[15][16]

Landmarks

Institutes

Academic building of Indian Statistical Institute on B.T. Road, Bonhooghly

Some major institutes and campuses like Indian Statistical Institute, a Statistical Laboratory set up by Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis in Kolkata;[17] Rabindra Bharati University, a public research university;[18] College of Medicine & Sagore Dutta Hospital, a referral government hospital, medical college and research institute;[19] University of Calcutta B. T. Road Campus, a collegiate public state research university;[20] are situated on Barrackpore Trunk Road.

Other landmarks

Other notable landmarks include the Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals, Panihati factory;[21] NCERT Production-cum-Distribution Centre, Panihati;[22] Texmaco Rail & Engineering Ltd., Belgharia;[23] and CESC Titagarh generating station.[24]

Kolkata Metro

The Baranagar–Barrackpore Line (or Line 5) is a 12.45 km (7.74 mi) northward extension of the Kolkata Metro network along BT Road with Baranagar metro station serving as the interchange between Line 1 and Line 5. It was sanctioned at a cost of 2,069.6 crore (equivalent to 37 billion or US$520 million in 2019) in the 2010–2011 budget. This line was meant to enable a quick commute from the northernmost suburbs to South Kolkata.[25][15]

Although the work never started as the Government of West Bengal had proposed for realignment of the line via Kalyani Expressway, due to the presence of arterial water pipelines under BT Road, that supply water to Kolkata. The construction work might damage the water pipelines, cutting off the city's water supply. It might also create huge traffic congestion along the busy road.[15][26][27] As of May 2021, only Shyambazar and Baranagar metro station are connected with the trunk road.

Palta-Tala pipeline

Potable water pipeline connections from Palta Waterworks to Kolkata, along the BT Road, existed since the late 1860s. After the construction of the Tala tank, it was joined with 42 in (110 cm) diameter cast iron pipes.[28][29] Today there are six pipelines of 42–70 in (110–180 cm) diameter, under BT Road connecting the Tala reservoir with Palta.[30] It also carries water pipes of other municipalities like Sodepur and Panihati.[15]

Major intersections

Barrackpore Trunk Road end at Shyambazar 5 point crossing

The entire route is in West Bengal.

Location Distance Destinations Notes
Shyambazar 0.0 km (0 mi) Southern terminus
Dunlop 5.77 km (3.59 mi) Tabliczka AH1.svg Belghoria Expressway
Barrackpore 18.1 km (11.2 mi) WB SH1-IND.png State Highway 1
WB SH2-IND.png State Highway 2
Northern terminus

See also