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Row over land acquisition, traffic diversion delay rail bridge project

Bangalore, Aug 23, 2013, DHNS :

10 rail over/under bridges planned at a cost of Rs 153 crore

Land acquisition and permission to take up work on Defence land have hampered the work at Baiyyappanahalli, Krishnarajapuram and Hoodi Gate. DH file Photo

With issues related to land acquisition and traffic diversion remaining unaddressed, construction of the 10 rail under bridges (RUB) and rail over bridges (ROB) in the City is being delayed.

The project — envisaged to ease traffic bottlenecks — is estimated to cost Rs 153.06 crore, which will be shared by the South Western Railways (SWR), the State government and Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).

While the SWR will contribute Rs 64.94 crore, the State and the BBMP will together share Rs 88.13 crore. So far Rs 26.83 crore has been remitted by the State while Rs 65.39 crore is  due.

Proposed rail over bridge/under bridge will come up at ITC Gate, Sarjapur, Allalasandra, Jakkur, Baiyyappanahalli, Krishnarajapuram, Kengeri, Kodigehalli, RPC Layout and Bapuji Nagar.

At a recent meeting with the BBMP officials, the Chief Administrative Officer of the SWR, Adesh Sharma, said that delay in land acquisition and permission to take up work on Defence land have hampered the work at Baiyyappanahalli, Krishnarajapuram and Hoodi Gate. Besides, transfer of funds by the State government has affected the work at Allalasandra and Sarjapur.

According to the BBMP and the SWR officials, non-diversion of traffic at Allalasandra, Jakkur and Jalahalli has further hit the work.

It is learnt that the tender had floated for the work at Allalasandra six years ago and the work has also been allotted to a firm.

However, the traffic police have failed to ensure traffic diversion.

Bottlenecks

The SWR and the BBMP officials had two rounds of meeting with the traffic officials but in vain. Due to the delay, bottleneck persists at Allalasandra, which connects Bellary Road with Yelahanka.

The officers are now contemplating to hold a final round of meeting with the traffic police to seek their co-operation in ensuring speedy work. If the traffic is diverted, the work could be completed in nine months from the date of commencement, said a BBMP officer.

The SWR officials also pointed out that the BBMP has not yet countersigned the estimates for six projects at Allalasandra, Nagawara, Mathikere, Baiyyappanahalli, Hoodi Gate and KR Puram.

But, the traffic officials are in no mood to buy the BBMP’s argument. Officers requesting anonymity said the SWR and BBMP officials’ claims to finish the work in nine months are impossible, for, it may take at least one-and-a-half-year to two years.

“We need to make alternative, sustainable arrangement for traffic diversion which can last for at least two years. In this regard, we need to discuss with the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) too,” said an officer in the traffic police. He added that already traffic is diverted in that area for another grade separator.

The BBMP Commissioner, M Lakshminarayana, expressed apprehensions over the traffic police’s reservations saying construction of underpass near Allasandra would be ready in a month and will soon be operational. Once it is ready, the police can divert the traffic for the ROB at the Allalasandra railway gate.


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