Precious space gone waste

Easing traffic

Precious space  gone waste
The concrete marvel, that is the Metro Rail, is as inconvenient as it is convenient. Though its world-class infrastructure makes people reach their destination in a jiffy, sometimes the huge stretches that are used to make a station leave one wondering if so much space is required for it. 

One such example is the Swami Vivekananda Metro Station. 

The entrance to the station (from the Baiyappanahalli side back to MG Road) is on a massive road that could take a huge load of traffic. 
 
Yet the irony is that vehicles aren’t allowed to move in here and there is a huge pile-up of traffic on the main road outside. 

Metrolife interacts with the authorities and citizens using this stretch to find out the 
solution.
 
Pallavi, a lecturer at East Point of Higher Education who stays in Pai Layout near Gopalan Mall, feels that the stretch is wasted. 

“We have to wait for 20 minutes on the road outside to clear the signal. The least the authorities can do is provide parking here,” she laments. 

Dinesh, a second-PUC student, notes that the traffic is really bad during peak hours. 
 
“I often travel between Baiyappanahalli and Ulsoor and in the evenings, it takes at least 15 minutes to clear this stretch. This space could be made more useful,” he notes. 

A second-PUC student of Indiranagar Composite PU College, Chaitra points out certain good things about the clear space. 

“When it rains, one can take shelter here. Even when it’s too sunny, it’s a cool stretch to be at. In the mornings, one can see people enjoying their walks while children play and cycle here even though it’s not allowed,” she says. 

Jayashree, an accountant, feels that if the stretch is used better, the Bengaluru Santhe could be given more visibility.

The authorities, who are slowly but tastefully using the space at the stations to build cultural spaces like Rangoli Metro Art Centre and Bengaluru Santhe, which is currently at this station, have more plans. 
 
Explaining why traffic isn’t allowed to move here at present, UA Vasanth Rao, general manager (finance), Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd, says, “If we allow the traffic coming from MG Road through this stretch, it will get choked at the end of this stretch near the other half of Bengaluru Santhe, which will make the situation worse. That’s why we are planning to come up with three flyovers near Suranjandas Road,” he says. 

The BDA, BBMP and BMRCL will be discussing this with the State Government, he informs. 

“Once these flyovers come up, we will open one half of the stretch for vehicles. The original idea was for people using the Metro Rail to use this space as a pick-up and drop point,” he notes. 
 
On the other half of the stretch towards the footpath and station, the authorities plan to open a world-class food court. 

“Since this road leads to the IT corridor, we plan to open a grand food court that will have the most well-known food outlets, which will maintain hygiene and keep the surroundings clean. It will be open till 1 am. We will spruce up the place so that people can sit and enjoy or take away as they drive through. So while one half of the road will be for people using the food court, the other half will be open to regular traffic. And people can always park at the existing parking facility at the station,” he sums up. 

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