Activist for underbridge, with minimum harm to nature

Activist for underbridge, with minimum harm to nature

Civic rights activist H R Bapu Satyanarayana has urged the authorities concerned to execute the underbridge project at the railway level crossing on Radhakrishnan Avenue, near the Kukkarahalli Lake with minimum damage to nature.

He said that a public hearing should be held to invite suggestions from the people concerned, to execute the project aesthetically and also to serve the purpose of all road users, including pedestrians.

"The Superintending Engineer of the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) and the Deputy Chief Engineer of the railway construction unit, South Western Railways (SWR) have confirmed that the project to replace the existing manned railway crossing on the Radhakrishnan Avenue, near the eastern gate of Kukkarahalli Lake, is in an advanced stage. From the SWR side, the tenders have been received and are under process. The roadside portion, comprising approaches on either side of the underbridge, is being done by the MCC," he said.

"The project is estimated to cost around Rs 32 crore. The bridge portion costs around Rs 5 crore and the approach portion is the responsibility of the MCC. Though the approaches on either side are wider at present, the bridge opening would provide for two lanes with footpaths on both sides. It would be of box type. The superintending engineer said that the MCC is awaiting the details from the railways so that the designing of approach portion can be taken up. In the railway under-bridge project, a vertical clearance of 5-4 m (17.6 feet) has been provided. The time for completion of the bridge portion is nine months. Assuming that the tender evaluation would be completed soon, to allot the work to a contractor, it should be ready by March 2019, if everything runs as per schedule," said Bapu.

"The alignment of the road from Kalamandira crosses near the vicinity of the underbridge. The road in front of Crawford Hall also crosses the approach on the eastern side. So, separate road bridges have to be provided to cross the approach roads. The bridges would be supported on the breast walls. The design of approach roads on either side of the bridge presents some logistic problems. Since a 17.6 ft vertical clearance has been given, it would require excavation for nearly 20 ft below the rail level. Since the approach on the western side is in a rising gradient towards the bridge, there would be some advantage in the height of the breast walls. But, it will be high in the immediate vicinity of the bridge. The breast wall has to run all along the approaches. The level of Kantharaja Urs Road should be such as to allow vehicles on it to enter the approach road smoothly. This is crucial as the Fire Brigade building is located on this road. In case of emergency, it should allow the movement of the vehicles on this road," he points out.

"Next to the huge tree on the approach road, there is a lane where some houses are situated. They should be given access. The compound of Crawford Hall will be affected. Since traffic on this road is already heavy, the bridge should be widened for four lanes. In fact, the Bogadi Road is already four lanes beyond the Kukkarahalli bridge and carries a huge traffic. If the proposed bridge is extended to four lanes, a whole range of problems would have to be encountered," he explains.

"Considering the density of road traffic and also the rail traffic at the manned-level crossing, an underbridge is an immediate need, which will serve the future. But as the location is at present picturesque with huge trees on all four sides, care should be taken to retain its beauty. The project should be executed with minimum possible harm to nature," Bapu said.

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