Work on Okalipuram corridor to begin in a fortnight

Work on Okalipuram corridor to begin in a fortnight

Work to construct the much-awaited eight-lane corridor from Okalipuram junction to Khoday’s Circle is likely to begin in the next 15 days, during the peak of monsoon, amid fears that it would create traffic problems as the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has not worked out any alternative road.

Work will start from Srirampura junction on Vatal Nagaraj Road on one side; on the other side it will be carried out from Circus ground on Platform Road. Once completed, the project will ease traffic. About 10,000 vehicles ply around Okalipuram at any given point of the day. Besides, the crowded roads are often blocked during mass protests. A protest by sugar cane farmers last Friday had brought traffic to a grinding halt.

Vehicles plying from Rajajinagar, Malleswaram, Magadi Road, Dr Rajkumar Road to City railway station, Okalipuram and the Central Business District (CBD) areas will have it easy. Commuters would be able to reach Khoday’s Factory from Dr Rajkumar Road near Sujatha Theatre — a distance of two km — in just 10 minutes. At present, it takes 45 minutes to one hour, depending upon the traffic.

Meanwhile, experts say that starting the work in mid-monsoon is not a good idea. The detailed project report on the eight-lane corridor was prepared in 2008-09, and the cost was estimated at Rs 115.5 crore. It was later revised to Rs 226.83 crore. The cost is likely to increase further when the railways will start working on rail bridges. Work should have begun last December.

BBMP Commissioner M Lakshminarayana blamed the Lok Sabha elections for the delay in the project. He said that work picked up just six months ago. Once the tenders are finalised, the file will be sent to the government for final approval. Since the project costs over Rs five crore, the government approval is required. Once everything is finalised within 15-30 days, the ground work will start, he explained.

According to Palike sources, soil testing has been completed and pile testing work is in progress. But the BBMP has not thought of any alternative as work will be carried out in phases. Roads will be narrowed, not closed. Permission is also awaited to cut 80 trees, they added.