Rly underbridge turns bottleneck

Rly underbridge turns bottleneck

Its width was reduced due to pressure by land losers

A railway under bridge (RUB) that was meant to ease traffic congestion near Vijinapura has turned into a new bottleneck due to drastic deviation from the original plan.

Located near the Tin Sheet Factory, the RUB connects Old Madras Road with Vijinapura via Krishna Reddy Industrial Estate Road. Due to regular traffic jams at the railway level crossing, the BBMP and the Railways had proposed the construction of the RUB at a cost of Rs 9.41 crore with Railways’ share of Rs 4.61 crore.

The project started in 2011 was supposed to be completed in 11 months. However, it took almost three years to reach near completion level. What is shocking is that instead of easing traffic jams, the project has added a bottleneck.

Documents available with Deccan Herald show that the width of the RUB should have been 9.5 metres wide, that is 32 ft, but the Railways and the BBMP reduced it to a mere seven metres or approximately 23.5 ft wide. 

Plan suggests that the service road next to the approach road passing through the RUB should have been 30 ft wide. Due to the pressure created by the local residents, who were losing their land, it was reduced to 15 ft wide.

It is learnt that the BBMP was not in a position to pay the land losers in cash, so it decided to pay them in Transferable Developmental Rights (TDR).

Now, suddenly the BBMP realised that it committed a blunder by reducing the width of the service road. It has issued a fresh notification to the people to part with their land to lay a service road of 30 ft wide.

This apart, the height of the underpass is also questionable, allege local residents. They said even mini buses cannot pass through the underpass, let alone buses and trucks. Even the width is so narrow that only one heavy vehicle can pass through it. 

The project was in limbo for three years and gained speed recently when an RTI activist Vikram Simha sought information about it. The reply he got from Railways was shocking.

The Railways said in its reply that “there is no change in the alignment or approach road. However, the width of the approach road towards the Old Madras Road side has been reduced as separate entry/exit arrangements have been made for footpath.”

Simha said there are contradictions in the reply given by Railways. “On the one hand, it says there is no change in the alignment or approach road while on the other, the width of the approach road has been reduced.” 

He questioned how the project was carried out without proper land acquisition process and consultation with the citizens.

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