Is Church Street motorable? Standards body can't say

Is Church Street motorable? Standards body can't say

Church Street, being redone at a cost of Rs 13 crore, conforms to no standard in the Indian rule books.

The BBMP should get the surface tested by experts before allowing vehicles to ply, a member of the Indian Road Congress (IRC) said.

Church Street is being redone on the lines of the famed cobbled streets of Europe.

"We have no provision for roads paved with cobblestones and our knowledge on how to use and maintain them is limited," Veeraraghavan Amirthalingam, member, technical committee, IRC, said.

IRC has not laid down any specifications for such roads or estimated how much load they can take, he said.

"The road is suitable only to handle light motor vehicles. We have not consulted any technical experts so far," admitted K T Nagaraj, chief engineer, BBMP.

The BBMP had a reason to choose Church Street, MG Road and Brigade Road for the European-inspired makeover, he said.

"They constitute a gateway to the city, and many tourists come here," Nagaraj said.

Aware of the limited load the new street can take, the BBMP is discussing some proposals with the traffic police.

One idea is to close Church Street to all vehicles two days a week.

Architect Naresh Narasimhan, who designed the new road, said it was not designed for continuous and heavy traffic.

"It is a pedestrian road, and the speed of vehicles should be 10 kmph. The road requires regular maintenance," he told DH.

 

What's IRC?
Set up by the government, the Indian Road Congress is an apex body of highway engineers mandated with setting standards for Indian roads.  Following IRC specifications is mandatory.

Only LMVs at 10 kmph
The new Church Street is designed for light motor vehicles, such as cars, jeeps, taxis and delivery vans, and not for trucks and buses.

The pedestrian-friendly street makes some concession for vehicular traffic, but discourages speeding. In fact, the architect of the road says the maximum speed recommended is 10 kmph.

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