Commuters demand sustainable, well-planned infrastructure

Commuters demand sustainable, well-planned infrastructure

Bengaluru flyovers are constructed only to be demolished or redesigned later. This has come to the fore once again with the Jayadeva flyover scheduled to be demolished soon for a Metro line on the same path. Many feel that such mega projects should be meticulously planned to avoid disasters as it involves human resource, time and money.

DH speaks to a cross-section of Bengalureans to ascertain their views on such unplanned projects. One of them, Manjunath Basavaraju, Regional Procurement Manager, Danske IT opines that flyovers in the city have been built unscientifically.

He explains, "A few of them are too small while others are lengthy without proper planning. They are not built to ease traffic along a stretch but only to decongest a specific intersection. This is wrong. These flyovers should be built with an intention to decongest multiple intersections on a long stretch. The entry and exit points should have enough room for motorists to pass through."

Basavaraju also laments that these flyovers are not strategically planned for a long-term with an option to expand the capacity if needed. "We build these flyovers but restrict ourselves from future enhancements. Instead of multiple smaller and manageable jams, they create large unmanageable jams. Now there are traffic jams even on the flyovers," he points out.

Flyovers are expensive to build. "Installing synchronized signals and recruiting traffic policemen will cost far less. Most of the flyovers make it difficult for pedestrians to cross."
The Jayadeva flyover cost Rs 21 crore in 2006. "Within a decade, it is scheduled for demolition. It clearly shows how the civic bodies BBMP, BDA and BMRCL are unorganized and unplanned. The coordination should be improved a great deal," he says.

HSR Layout resident V Jayakumar does not find any purpose in building flyovers. He explains, "When the BDA or BBMP planned to construct the flyovers, livelihoods of many people went for a toss, especially street vendors. Such flyovers do not serve any purpose as the problems of traffic have remained unresolved," he notes.

When planners are involved in the design process, he says they should consider the population for the next 20 – 30 years down the lane. "This is where they have failed. Right now, they just think of shifting the bottlenecks to elsewhere, which is a temporary solution."

In the case of Jayadeva flyover, he says, "BMRCL has already got the permission to demolish it, but, no one thinks about the cost and time involved in it. Our hard earned money which we pay through tax is taken for granted. If there was proper communication among the civic agencies, the demolition could have been avoided. The commuters travelling to Electronics City are using it and now, with the demolition plan, it would be chaos during peak hours."

He suggests taking help of good urban planners with sound knowledge of sustainable development for the city. "They will have the data analytics to address many issues such as population, numbers of vehicles on road and traffic management. That way, we can have an intelligent solution to plan a better city for the future."

On Sirsi flyover, Mahalakshmi, Executive Assistant, Janalakshmi Financial Services has this to say: "This project on Mysuru Road takes the credit of being the first. But poor maintenance has made commuting on the flyover a nightmare for people. Any flyovers needs timely upkeep."

Teacher Sarala feels that poor planning of flyovers is a major hurdle for development. "Richmond flyover on Double Road that connects Residency Road is helpful, but, is not well-planned. Though it is two-way, the road is very narrow leading to traffic snarls during peak hours," she notes.

She belives that traffic issue is an engineering problem. "Design flaws will certainly lead to congestion on a flyover. Once the design is in place, everything will fall in place. Building a number of flyovers does not matter, what matters is how useful are they to common man."

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