CNR Rao junction underpass work a perennial pain

0ver the past two and a half years, the CNR Rao junction near the Indian Institute of Science has been the site of a major underpass construction that seems unlikely to be completed anytime soon.

The inordinate delay has been causing problems to people living in the vicinity.

“About three months ago, the Mayor and some Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike engineers came to inspect the site and we conveyed our problems to them. They assured us that the work will be completed by September. However, as all can see, that has not happened as yet,” says Padma, Postmaster, Science Institute Post Office.

Located a few yards opposite the IISc on the road towards Malleswaram is the Science Institute Post Office that stands right in the thick of the underpass work and has borne the biggest brunt of the BBMP work.

Regular customers have either totally stopped coming or show up rarely due to the confusion outside the gate. Senior citizens who form the bulk of the customers of the post office have to negotiate their way through the dangerous and menacing traffic; broken, loose or non-existent footpaths and loose fencing on the other side.

So, many commuters, therefore, prefer not to take the trouble for obvious reasons, according to the post office staff. Many customers have forwarded angry letters to the post office without realising that the postal staff themselves are helpless.

“We now have to go on drives to various places like Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, Indian Institute of Science, Aranya Bhavan and Kendriya Vidyalaya just to attract customers here,” Kamala, postal assistant, Science Institute Postal Office, said. The reduction in the number of customers has also directly affected the post office revenue, says Padma, an employee.

As a result of the ongoing work, the walls of the post office have been damaged and the garden has been destroyed. There is also an increase in the number of thefts. “Parts of our generator, like batteries, were stolen recently from the premises,” said Kamala.

BHEL complex

Across the road is the BHEL complex facing its own set of problems — going out of and coming into the BHEL compound. The distance from the main gate to the road is less than one foot and during peak traffic hours, many vehicles end up waiting for a long time just to get out of or come inside the compound.

“When our guards at the gate try and make way for the vehicles from inside to go out, the vehicles outside just don’t care and rush through, sometimes even hitting the guards,” according to a staffer in the complex. Mud and iron rods lie in the open. Many guards have also complained of pollution.

The staff at the Science Institute Post Office have seen at least three major accidents in the past one year. Right in front of their main gate is a U-turn that has become an unofficial bus stop of sorts. Buses stop right in the middle to pick up passengers or sometimes just drive past dangerously close to waiting passengers.

In one incident, a bus apparently ran over the feet of a girl waiting at the ‘bus stop’. In another incident, a person was apparently walking on the footpath when one of the slabs gave way, seriously fracturing the legs.

A security guard at the BHEL complex entrance said he had witnessed a Sumo vehicle go down into a trench on the road.

Those travelling towards Maramma Circle have to take a longer route — from Yeshwantpur or Sadashivanagar — which is a good two to four kilometre. The distance is otherwise less than half a kilometre.

Many students from Maharani Lakshmiammini College further down the road are facing a harrowing time, according to Dr Ramanand, Kannada professor at the college. The lack of proper footpaths and a hostile traffic heightens the danger for any pedestrian who dares to walk along the junction.

Richmond Circle flyover

There are many who have raised questions and doubts about the design and utility of the Double Road flyover in Shantinagar.

K Balakrishnan has been working as a security guard for many years now and presently, he guards a construction site below the flyover. He uses a bicycle to commute and has to ply over the flyover to reach his workplace every day.

“There are so many potholes and cracks on the road that I lose balance almost every time I am on the flyover. Travelling at night is a big headache as there are no lights and the chances of an accident are more,” he says.

Traffic police

There is also a traffic police stand on top of the flyover at the intersection of three routes meant for an officer to oversee traffic. “How can there be any signal on top of the flyover? The idea is stupid,” observes Yashodhar, who frequents the flyover.

Three traffic policemen from Ulsoor Gate and Ashoknagar stations were minding the traffic under the flyover. However, there was none on the top at that time.

Besides a traffic police point, there is also a median made of loose bricks
meant to divide the traffic plying towards Residency Road from KH Road and

“During nights, many motorists break the median that is meant to divide the traffic and cross over to the other side without having to go all the way. We have to rearrange the median all over again in the morning,” said the policeman.

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