Incomplete underpass leaves Kodigehalli virtually cut off

Incomplete underpass leaves Kodigehalli virtually cut off

Incomplete underpass leaves Kodigehalli virtually cut off
Nearly three years after the foundation-laying ceremony, the Kodigehalli underpass remains nothing more than a big hollow on one end.

Ironically, the unfinished work for the passage - envisaged for the motor vehicles to bypass the railway line - has virtually cut off the neighbourhood, leaving residents frustrated. "We never asked for the underpass," sighs Jaikiran Hosur, a resident of Kodigehalli. "Several railway crossings here used to function properly, except for the peak-hour traffic jams. They began the underpass and left it with a big hole on one side of the railway line."

The foundation stone for the project was laid three years ago in the presence of the then railway minister D V Sadananda Gowda and Byatrayanapura MLA Krishna Byre Gowda, but residents suspect the government never had a clear plan from the beginning.

"They dug up one side of the track without clearing the opposite side, which is a cluster of private properties. It's a mystery as to how the government agencies began work without clearing the pathway on the other side," said another Kodigehalli resident Sunil Nair, adding that residents have to take a seven-kilometre detour to reach Hebbal junction.

As if the trouble was not enough, the recent rains dumped gallons of water into the open hole, turning it into a dirty pond and a potential breeding ground for mosquitoes that could spread diseases.

The rains also left the stagnant water at the only functioning underpass in the neighbourhood, forcing residents to take a 10-kilometre detour.

"We initially planned to acquire the land by Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) process," said Joint Commissioner, Yelahanka Zone, Dr S Nagaraj, as he explained the unfinished underpass.

"Since it proved to be time-consuming, we went ahead and purchased the land. Out of the 73 properties marked for acquisition, we've got documents for 38 and 28 of them have even received the compensation money."

He said 22 out of the 35 remaining property owners are ready to surrender their land, while a team of government representatives including ministers, corporators and chief engineers would talk to the 13 remaining owners and finalise the deal in a week.

Dr Nagaraj hoped the legal hurdles would be cleared by December-end and the project would be completed by March.