The long road to perfection

Chaotic Process

The long road to perfection

In an effort to ensure strength and longevity of roads and facilitate a smooth flow of traffic, 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 under the roads.

 The work on the proposed stretches have already begun and the work on each stretch is expected to take nothing less than a year. 

The authorities say that this project has thrown up a host of challenges and people will have to bear with the inconvenience. They say that after the work is completed, commuters will have no problems whatsoever. They cite Vittal Mallya Road as a classic example of a road that has been done up under the Tender SURE project. About 47 roads in the City have been identified under the project undertaken by the BBMP. The authorities have given a five-year deadline for all 47 roads to be completed under it.

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. Work on St Mark’s Road, Cunningham Road and near Kanteerava Stadium have already commenced. 

M Lakshminarayana, commissioner of BBMP, states, “Every month, we propose to take up one road and we will soon begin work on Residency Road and Richmond Town as well. The problems we face on each of the stretches are different. The underground cables are all mixed up, so we are now having a tough time, trying to separate the underground cables and provide separate ducts for each of the cables.”

Asked why each stretch will take a year, he says, “The roads will be in perfect condition for the next couple of years and one wouldn’t have to dig up the roads because the pipes will all go under the pedestrian path.”    
 BBMP has selected 12 roads, mostly in Central Business District (CBD) area, for the project. Basavaraj Kabade, executive engineer, BBMP roads, says he didn’t know it would be such a huge challenge doing up these roads. “The basis for selection of roads was that CBD roads are important and in poor condition. Many of them have potholes, insufficient footpaths, no uniform carriageways, choked drains, no proper signage systems, improper bus bays, no parking system etc.

 The idea is to beautify the roads so as to attract more investment,” he reasons. Bangaloreans are used to the sight of roads being dug up and they have almost accepted traffic jams as an indispensable part of their routine. They hope that things will get better. Manuel, an employee with Airtel on St Mark’s Road, feels the stretch will be chaotic once the schools reopen. “The schools are closed, so we don’t have to deal with random parking of school vans but after they reopen, pedestrians and motorists will have a tough time moving around.” 

Manjunath Singh, a professional, says, “The safety of a pedestrian is always at stake. Motorists, especially bus drivers, don’t bother to slow down. It is a dangerous situation.” Asha, a beautician who works on Cunningham Road, sums up saying, “At present, we don’t have a footpath and with slow-moving traffic, it is so difficult to walk on the roads because you don’t know when you will be knocked down by a vehicle.”    

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