Nightmare on Bellary Road

Nightmare on Bellary Road

Upgrade delay turns 22 km between Hebbal and BIA into a wretched stretch

Nightmare on Bellary Road

Delay in upgrading the 22-km stretch of NH-7 between Hebbal and Bengaluru International Airport (BIA) is causing massive traffic woes on Bellary Road.

The project awarded to Navayuga Engineering Co Ltd involves construction of an elevated road, flyovers, underpasses and service roads to connect the airport. The contract has been awarded on build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).

Shrunk by the project work, the road has become a virtual death trap for pedestrians crossing it as there are no barricades at many places. Also, residents on either side of the stretch have to take a detour to reach their homes as most of the connecting main roads have been blocked.

Deccan Herald did a reality check on the highway. Trouble starts as soon as vehicles enter the first point of construction of the elevated road near Kodigehalli Gate. 

Pillars have been erected, but placement of viaducts is yet to begin. However, the incomplete drain work is posing a danger to pedestrians who struggle to cross the road, especially during peak hours.

Sumana K, a government employee, says there are no proper footpaths and vehicles flood the junction throughout the day. Crossing the road is a virtual brush with death, she added. 

Traffic sub-inspector B N Venkatachala said Navayuga had not shifted the utilities at some points on the road, endangering the lives of vehicle users.

Residents living in areas adjoining the Amruthahalli Junction in Byatarayanapura have to take a detour every day to reach various destinations. Latha B S, a resident of Talacauvery Layout, said she cannot take her vehicle to the other side of the road as there was only a narrow passage.

Dhananjay K, a cab driver, said metal barricades to cover the work site were placed haphazardly along certain stretches. At night, the barricades lead to many accidents, he added.

Shyam Kumar, a site engineer with Navayuga Engineering Co Ltd, said completion of viaducts on the stretch between Kodigehalli Cross and Kogilu Cross would take at least three more months. 

The metal barricades will not be removed for at least a year till the construction work is completed.

Project work beyond Kogilu Cross, which passes through Venkatala, Bagalur Cross, Hunasamaranahalli Cross, Vidyanagar Cross and Chikkajala junctions, is progressing at a slow pace due to land acquisition and related issues.

The initial deadline for the project was early 2013. NHAI officials said they were hoping to complete the project by May 2013. However, in reality, it might take a longer time.

VIP corridor too

A senior traffic police officer at Yelahanka Junction said the project needed to be completed faster as the stretch was used by VIPs too. The public suffer when a VIP convoy passes through the road as it is narrowed due to construction work. Many a time, traffic jams, extending up to half a kilometre, choke Yelahanka and Amruthahalli Junctions.

We are doing our best: NHAI

Asked about the problems being faced by commuters and motorists, NHAI officials said they had directed the Navayuga management to speed up drain and road repair work. Due to some internal problems, drain works have been delayed, said an NHAI official.

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