Jams await alternative road users as it criss-crosses airport roads

The alternative road to the Kempegowda International Airport faces the prospect of huge jams.

The new road has to cut across roads now used for airport entry and exit.

This means hundreds of vehicles must stop at a junction to allow vehicles from the alternative road to reach the terminal.

The authorities have planned no flyover or underpass.

Two roads---from Hennur Main Road and Thanisandra Main Road---meet at Bagalur. The two-lane road from here is done till Bandikodigenahalli, and only the last stretch connecting Begur is pending.

Bengaluru International Airport Limited (BIAL) says the length of the last link is 1.3 km, and it is building 0.9 km of it inside the airport boundary.

"The road has been designed by traffic consultants and experts. It is expected to split the amount of traffic coming into the airport," a BIAL spokesperson said.

The airport authorities don't expect congestion and say adequate measures are in place---"like the widening of the road at the point where traffic will merge"---to ensure smooth flow.

Urban expert Ashwin Mahesh said the government had been generous with the land: it had given the airport 4,000 acres.

"They have so much land and yet they are not able to manage the mobility inside the airport," he said.

After inspecting the alternative road in September 2016, chief minister Siddaramaiah had set a deadline of February 2017 to open it for vehicular movement.

Officials are in a hurry to complete the stretch within a month. The model code of conduct for Assembly elections kicks in after that, which means the government can't open the road and claim credit for it.

K Radhakrishna Holla, president of the Bangalore Tourist Taxi Owners Association, said, "After the toll gate, the 5 km trumpet road inside the airport has just two tracks, and causes traffic congestion during peak hours."

He said requests to the airport to add two more tracks had fallen on deaf ears. "Accidents take place inside the airport," he said.

He fears many people will miss their flights, with jams inside the airport.

The Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board has spent crores and acquired land but no one thought of clearing the bottleneck at the airport entry, he said.

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