Lack of safe access to Metro station cost teen her life

Scores cross NH daily as Nagasandra station subway still on paper

Lack of safe access to Metro  station cost teen her life

There is no subway to access the stations on the Peenya-Nagasandra stretch of Namma Metro, even two years after the line was thrown open for the public.

The delay cost a teenager her life recently. On April 11, 16-year-old R Pooja was crossing the national highway in front of the Nagasandra station around 12.30 pm, when she was hit by a speeding car. She died two days later.

“She had taken a Metro to Nagasandra. This is one of the several accidents caused by the lack of infrastructure. Hundreds of people still risk their lives every day as they cross the highway. Many suffered serious injuries, but we lost our daughter,” said P Rajashekhar, Pooja’s father.

The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), however, point fingers at each other for the delay in constructing the subway.

In January 2015, BMRCL called tenders for constructing three subways - providing access to Nagasandra, Jalahalli Cross and Dasarahalli stations - at a cost of Rs 9.61 crore. However, there has been no progress since then.

A BMRCL official said NHAI was yet to give permission for the subway. “We are yet to receive any communication from NHAI,” he said.

Senior officials of NHAI said it had been 10 months since they approved the proposal for a subway by BMRCL. “The NHAI’s central office (Delhi) cleared the proposal in June 2016 and sent it to BMRCL. We even wrote a letter to BMRCL four months ago, reminding them to start the subway work. We have not got any response yet,” a senior official told DH.

Subhash Shetty, who heads a residents’ welfare association at an apartment opposite the metro station, said the subway was announced two years ago, but no work has taken place on the ground. “Hundreds of people cross the road every day. Most of these people are metro riders. There is no pedestrian crossing and the nearest skywalk is situated over 250 metres from the station. Who will walk half-a-kilometre to cross a road,” he asked.

“A subway should have been ready for use before the station was thrown open for public. Subway is part of the metro project. A station also includes infrastructure that provides safe access,” the NHAI official said.

Rajashekhar said officials should ensure no other person meets the same fate as Pooja.

Shetty said he will meet BMRCL officials on Monday and submit a memorandum signed by more than 250 people appealing to start the work on the subway.
 

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