Motorists see 'hole truth' of Sumanahalli flyover

The portion of the Sumanahalli flyover which collapsed on Friday evening.

Poor quality of civic work in Bengaluru was back in focus after a part of the Sumanahalli flyover, located on the Outer Ring Road (ORR) in West Bengaluru, collapsed on late Friday evening, even as vehicles were moving on the stretch.

Vigilant traffic police at the junction quickly swung into action and diverted traffic and alerted the engineers of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). 

What began as a pothole due to stagnation of rainwater eventually became a large crater as days wore on. With no intervention by the BBMP engineers, the damaged concrete part collapsed on Friday onto the busy Magadi Road that passes beneath the flyover.

This is perhaps the second flyover in the city to have suffered structural damage after the Hebbal flyover. But while the Hebbal flyover only developed cracks, the Sumanahalli flyover is a serious incident. 

Eye-witnesses told DH that a pothole on the flyover between Malagala and Kanteerava Studios had been ignored for months.

“A mere five to ten minutes of heavy rains leaves the stretch inundated. As a result, the surface is riddled with potholes. But officials didn’t inspect the area. Due to their cavalier attitude, a pothole has now become a crater and fallen off. Luckily, it has not fallen on anybody,” Munegowda, a resident of Srigandhada Kavalu, said.

A BBMP official told DH that the size of the damaged portion was about 60 cm X 80 cm.

Mayor Gautham Kumar, who inspected the stretch, said, “I have ordered diversion of traffic as repair works need to be taken up. The damage is across 6X4 sq ft area where concrete slabs have crumbled and fallen off. The area has been barricaded considering the safety of passersby.”

The flyover was commissioned by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) in 2010 and built by a Chennai-based construction company at an estimated cost of Rs 35 crore, according to sources in the BBMP. The flyover was handed over to the BBMP in 2016.

Acknowledging that the BBMP had failed to carry out maintenance work on the bridge, Mayor Gautham said, “We have been laying new roads but have been failing to maintain them. Be it the bridge or roads, they need to be maintained well. I have directed officials to ensure that water doesn't stagnate on the bridge.” 

Following the incident, the traffic police directed motorists moving towards Yeshwantpur from Nagarabhavi side to take the service road at Nagarabhavi or Malagala and proceed further.

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