Smooth roads may soon become a reality

Strengthening Process

Smooth roads may soon become a reality

Looks like Bangaloreans may no longer have to travel on bad roads. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has proposed the construction of ‘Tender Specification for Urban Roads Execution’ (SURE) roads, wherein underground pipes will be laid below the pavements and not below the roads. This will ensure strength and longevity of roads.  

About 47 roads in the City have been identified under the ‘Tender SURE’ road project, which will be undertaken by the BBMP. The authorities have given a five-year deadline for all the 47 roads to be completed under this project. To begin with, seven roads in the City have been brought under this project.

Among them are St Mark’s Road, places in and around Museum Road, Richmond Road, Commissariat Road and roads near Mallya Hospital just to mention a few. “These seven roads coming under ‘Tender SURE’ project, estimated to cost Rs 100 crore, will be completed in a year’s time. An advance payment of Rs 56 crore has already been made to the contractors, who have started the survey work in these areas,” says BBMP Commissioner M Lakshminarayana.   

Lakshminarayana states that all the utilities such as water lines, power cables, stormwater drain, optical fibre cable and sewage lines will be laid under the pavement in a separate utility corridor and not below the roads. “The underground water supply pipes, electrical cables and related underground cables will have to be replaced and shifted to the utility corridor.

The entire road work will be undertaken by the contractor and not by the BBMP and the BWSSB. The work will be done in a phased manner to ensure minimum inconvenience to people,” he says. 

The BWSSB authorities inform that the proposal of Tender SURE roads have been in the pipeline for a while now. Sharing his perspective, M S Ravishankar, chairman of BWSSB explains, “The aim of this project is to make sure that all utility lines such are given separate, dedicated passages and shifted to one side of the road to prevent digging of the main roads. This will avoid frequent digging of roads. Right now, we have no choice but to cut open the road for underground pipe work.”

The Bangalore traffic police say that in addition to managing the growing traffic in the City, they have the additional task of diverting traffic from points where road work is being undertaken. Additional commissioner of police (traffic) B Dayananda points out, “Diverting traffic when roads are dug up is a headache and involves constant streamlining of traffic movement. Tender SURE roads will not only minimise damage to roads but will save us the trouble of having to divert traffic very frequently.”

But the ordinary people, who travel long distances, say that they have a hard time negotiating dug-up stretches and taking diversions have become a rule rather than an exception. Stanzein Chozzom, a senior sales manager, travels a lot. “You notice that the newly tarred roads are dug up within a week of tarring and there’s a ‘road diverted’ sign erected at these places. We end up spending a lot of time just travelling and negotiating bad stretches,” she says.

Winkle Mathias, interior designer, feels it would have been better if there was one single agency, taking care of the road infrastructure and City’s growth rather than several such agencies. “We are in a situation where the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. You will see that the concrete mix, for pavement laying, being dumped on newly tarred roads and the drains are cleaned, only after the road is tarred and all the debris is dumped on the  road. It’s a
terrible situation,” Winkle sums up.  

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