Safety takes a backseat

Safety takes a backseat

Safety takes a backseat

There are not enough safety signs in and around developmental and infrastructural works on the Outer Ring Road and towards BIAL, warning drivers or passersby to be cautious.

The existing ones are old, rusted barricades or long plastic sheets tied around these work sites. Looks like the safety of the commuters is being overlooked.

Most of the ongoing projects are by BMRCL, BBMP, BDA and National Highway Authority of India (NHAI). All these government authorities work in tandem with the Bangalore Traffic Police to erect safety signages such as barricades, ‘men at work’, ‘diversions’, reflectors and cat eyes in and around these work places. The contract is given to agencies and signages are placed in keeping with the directions issued by the traffic police.

It is estimated that each government body allocates nothing less than Rs 20 to 25 lakh exclusively for the safety signs, apart from  providing extra traffic wardens to help traffic police clear the traffic. Metrolife spoke to a couple of authorities, who claim that they have done their bit in putting up safety signs.

However, people refute this claim saying that their safety is at stake. Additional commissioner of police (traffic and safety) M A Saleem points out that there are developmental projects at 27 locations in Bangalore such as Mysore Road, Chord Road in Vijayanagar, West of Chord Road in Rajajinagar, Magadi Road, Tumkur Road, Sarjapur Road, Maratahalli, Cubbon Road to mention a few.

“We have been holding regular meetings with the authorities and keeping them updated on the safety signages but looks like nobody seemed to have paid heed to our observations. They continue to be lax in placing the safety signs,”
explains Saleem. 

Special Commissioner of BBMP, K Niranjan, says BBMP has its projects at CNR Rao junction and a couple of places on Mysore Road. “We are aware that a couple of safety signs are missing or have worn out. We are yet to replace them. We will inspect the site once again and place them appropriately,” reasons Niranjan.    
A chief engineer with the BDA claims that all the safety signs have been placed. “We notice that all our safety signages get stolen at night. We have invested Rs 20 lakh only on safety signages and Rs three to four lakh toward providing additional traffic wardens around the work site to help the traffic police,” explains the chief engineer. 

As part of NHAI’s massive project, the ‘Upgradation, Operation and Maintenance of the Hyderabad-Bangalore section of NH-7’, a 22.12-km-stretch elevated road is being constructed from Vidyanagar through Kogilu Junction near Yelahanka to Kodigehalli
Junction. “A safety cell has been constituted for this particular project. It monitors safety signages –– the old ones are appropriately placed and replaced. If anything goes missing, we will see that it is put back,” says a senior officer with NHAI.     

But people simply refuse to believe that the authorities are serious about safety signages.Vineeth K, an employee with Arupa Networks, says that he sees an accident
almost everyday at Kadubisanahalli, near Maratahalli Junction.
“There are no safety signs like barricades and reflectors. The few barricades that are there are used for other purposes.”

Runcy, a software engineer, too agrees that safety signs are missing at most of the worksites. “Most of the traffic jams are caused by lack of safety signages. People don’t know there’s work happening and travel at high speed only to meet with an accident,” he sums up.