Fifty roads of 8 cities in State to get facelift

Project to transform the way urban roads are designed and executed

Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda on Friday launched Project Tender SURE (Specifications for Urban Road Execution) in collaboration with City Connect, a registered non-profit trust that envisages a comprehensive approach to transform the way urban roads are designed and executed.

Several corporate honchos, including Biocon chief Kiran Majumdar Shaw, Infosys executive co-chairman Kris Gopalkrishnan are members/trustee of City Connect.

Rs 131 crore earmarked
To start with, the State government has earmarked Rs 131 crore for upgrading the 50 roads, of which 28 have already been identified. As per the project, the roads will be upgraded following detailed specification pertaining to design, procurement and execution. In this regard, City Connect has brought out two volumes of ‘Tender SURE’ books containing details about technical specifications and execution methods taking the best practices from all over the world.

Chief Secretary S V Ranganath said the BBMP would upgrade nine roads and the BDA five stretches (see box) in the first phase of the project in Bangalore. A total of 14 roads in seven corporations across the State will also be taken up under the project, he said. Tenders will be floated soon inviting contractors for the work, he said.

Swati Ramanathan, member, City Connect, and chairperson, India Urban Space, pointed out that tender documents for city roads were usually poor, resulting in sub-optimal design and execution of roads. Tender SURE takes the best practices from all over the world, uses technical specifications in various Indian manuals, and builds on them. The documents were prepared in consultation with the State government, the BBMP, the Directorate of Land Transport, the Public Works Department, and inputs from various technical quarters, she said.

Besides planning and design standards, the document includes information related to traffic movement, pedestrians and cyclists, footpaths, parking, public transport, sewage, drainage, engineering plans and technical specifications, she said.

Kris Gopalkrishnan said the urban mobility problem was complex and required a “multi-stakeholder approach”. He hoped the project would set an example for other cities to emulate. Shaw felt Bangalore was losing its “elite city” tag due to the deteriorating roads and long commuting time. However, the project would go a long way in enhancing the quality of urban roads.

Chief Minister Gowda said the project would immensely benefit different sections of urban society — from motorists to goods carriers, from public transport system to two-wheeler riders.

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