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Bengaluru: Drainage works on Magrath, Jayamahal roads cause traffic chaos

With Bengaluru facing severe flash floods in recent memory, citizens say the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) must finish the works before the rainy season arrives.
Last Updated : 18 May 2024, 22:25 IST
Last Updated : 18 May 2024, 22:25 IST

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Bengaluru: Ongoing drain-related works at several places, especially Magrath Road and Jayamahal Road, have made vehicle users' lives miserable. Things could go further downhill if the works aren't completed before the northwest monsoon, which is just around the corner, residents say.  

With Bengaluru facing severe flash floods in recent memory, citizens say the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) must finish the works before the rainy season arrives. 

Nearly 300 metres of Magrath Road, which adjoins important commercial centres such as Brigade Road, MG Road, General KS Thimmaiah Road, Commissariat Road and Residency Road, has been dug up since April 15. 

A BWSSB assistant engineer at the worksite said they were replacing 230 mm underground drainage pipelines with 600 mm ones and trying their best to complete the work before the monsoon. "But intermittent rainfall might delay it," he told DH

The work is causing severe traffic congestion in the busy area. 

Jayamahal Road, an important link between Cantonment and Ballari Road and CV Raman Road, has been excavated at several patches over more than a kilometre. 

The road, which also houses ministers' bungalows, has been in shambles for nearly two years now. 

After cancelling an earlier plan to widen Jayamahal Road, the BBMP decided to redevelop it between the Cantonment railway bridge and Mehkri Circle. 

The civic body's contractor asphalted the road between the mango market and the railway bridge. However, the fresh tar was subsequently damaged to facilitate footpath work, which took several more months earlier this year, a long-time area resident said. 

"The footpath work is substandard. The pavers have come off or the footpath has sunk in several places. Worse, the footpath stinks because people relieve themselves openly," the resident said. 

A few weeks ago, the civic body dug up the road at several points to construct vertical chambers for stormwater drains (SWDs), an assistant executive engineer in the BBMP said. 

The work has reduced the motorable road and caused waterlogging. 

Natesh Babu (name changed), who takes Jayamahal Road daily, said vehicle users find it hard to distinguish whether waterlogging is due to potholes or incomplete construction work. 

He fears vehicles could sink in the pits during the rains. Because of the makeshift mango market near Snow City, traffic moves slowly in that lane, causing congestion, he added. 

"It gets really challenging to navigate the road at night, especially for elderly people. During heavy rains, two-wheelers take shelter under the railway bridge, causing traffic to slow down further,” he said. 

He warned that dug-up pits were a potential death trap for two-wheeler riders, who tend to keep left when heavy vehicles like buses pass by. 

A traffic police officer posted in the area said the situation had worsened after last week’s rainfall and tree falls on Jayamahal Road. 

The BBMP engineer said the delay happened because the traffic police refused to allow work during peak hours. He promised that the work would be completed in the next 15 days. 

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Published 18 May 2024, 22:25 IST

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