A rail overbridge hanging for 4 yrs

A rail overbridge hanging for 4 yrs

Crossing the Salem railway line at the City’s Kaggadasapura level-crossing is too Herculean a task, an adventure trapped deep in chaotic traffic.

But as the road-users cry for an overbridge here, a bridge designed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) less than a kilometer away stands unfinished for the fourth year

Awaiting clearance from the Commissioner of Rail Safety (CRS), the DRDO bridge, when completed, will clearly be out of range for the general public. And this could precisely be the reason why it is delayed. The mounting traffic woes at the poorly located Kaggadasapura level-crossing had reportedly forced political interests to look at the DRDO bridge as a temporary reprieve. But DRDO, it is learnt, would have none of that.

Without the CRS nod, the Railways cannot link the two stretches of the bridge although the project is reportedly financed fully by the DRDO. The Defence organisation had sought to link its Phase 1 campus with the Phase 2 Township through the bridge.
The 2nd Phase houses the DRDO maintenance offices, office of the Controller of Defence Accounts, a guesthouse, commercial complex and training units besides the director’s bungalow and other residential quarters.

DRDO’s fear is that allowing public vehicles on the bridge would trigger unprecedented traffic and noise pollution inside its relatively quiet and secure campus.

“Public vehicles were allowed to pass through the Phase 1 DRDO Township, honouring an agreement signed 30 years ago. But today it has become such a big nuisance that the gates are shut for outside traffic between 8 pm and 7 am,” a top Defence official told Deccan Herald.

The unfinished bridge work has increased the pressure on the Kaggadasapura level-crossing manifold. A big chunk of the vehicles that pass through the crossing originate from the Phase-2 quarters. School students from the Township are particularly hit, as the vehicles ferrying them invariably get stuck at the railway gate for hours.

A proposal to build a separate two-lane bridge in the vicinity of the level-crossing is stuck in the drawing room. South Western Railways (SWR) officials said the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is yet to submit the alignment of the approach roads. Only if this design is ready can the Railways plan the location and architecture of the bridge.

Chief Administrative Officer, Construction, SWR, Adesh Sharma said he was unaware of the DRDO bridge or its status. But he was sure that the Railways could not go ahead with a Rail Over Bridge (ROB) at Kaggadasapura unless BBMP acquired the land for the approach roads.

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