Flyover, underpass take a toll on tranquility

Flyover, underpass take a toll on tranquility

The Industrial Systems Group division of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has been a fixture at Kodandaramapura in Malleswaram for almost four decades now.

This public sector organisation has seen a sea change in the surrounding traffic scenario over the last 20 years. In retrospect, the precursor to the increase in the traffic density can be traced back to the removal of a circle near Maharani Lakshmi Ammanni College in the vicinity in 1990.

Vehicular movement began to increase gradually over the next few years, especially in the 2000s. The growth rate has been a little short of exponential since.

The spurt in traffic can be attributed to mainly three factors from the surroundings. One of them is the construction of the Hebbal flyover, which was completed in the year 2003. It was because of this that traffic jams were frequent occurrences from Mekhri Circle till the BHEL factory. For those coming from Mekhri Circle towards Malleswaram, commuting time increased by at least 15 minutes.

The construction of the underpass at the CNR Rao Circle was a major factor for traffic congestion around the BHEL campus. It was during its construction that commuters and residents were most affected. Lakshmisha, who has worked with BHEL for the last 35 years and also happens to reside in the nearby company quarters, says that his travel time almost doubled during this period.

Most BHEL employees were forced to take detours to enter the factory. Other vehicles going towards Mekhri Circle were left with no choice but to virtually brush against the walls of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) building while making a turn, due to lack of space.

“I commute from Yelahanka every day. I don’t see any noticeable reduction in my travel time after the completion of the underpass. There is always a bottleneck at the Sadashivnagar Police Station. So it is impossible to reduce traffic. Traffic congestion can be eased only by broadening the roads,” says Ashok Kumar, who has been working with the PSU for 33 years now.

Another factor that has fuelled this congestion are the numerous apartment complexes that have cropped up over the last few years. Vehicles from every house have contributed to the traffic pile-up. R V Narasimhachar, a recently retired BHEL employee, opines that many of these complexes are not appropriately located.

“There are many residential colonies that have come up in the last two decades around the factory. The main road that BHEL faces is a link to industrial areas such as Yeshwantpur. Builders should have been responsible enough to realise this. It is too late to decongest now,” he maintains.                                

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