Metrolife: Traffic chokes Basavanagudi

The arterial road between Armugam Circle and the petrol bunk is only partly operational.

Uneven, half-done roads are stalling movement and jeopardising the safety of motorists and pedestrians. The BBMP is out to build 4.6 km of concrete roads in bustling parts of south Bengaluru, but has only completed 500 metres a full month after work began.

The haphazard work has created a mess, with traffic being funnelled into half the road on many busy stretches in Basavanagudi, one of Bengaluru’s oldest and most beautiful neighbourhoods.

Vehicles move at a snail’s pace, with half the road taken up by construction. With the road builders not levelling the roads, the hazards for motorists is high: those riding on the sharply elevated part of the road risk could crash where the road ends. Those using lighter vehicles like scooters and autos, especially, risk life and limb.  


The new road is much higher than the old one.

“We are carrying out the work only at night because it is easier for lorries to move around and material to be unloaded,” said a BBMP chief executive engineer in charge of the project.

Work has stopped, complain citizens, but officials say that is because it takes 21 days to cure the concrete. In official parlance, concretising roads is referred to as ‘white-topping.’

“White-topping has started from Basappa Circle (near KIMS and Gayana Samaja) and will extend up to Kanakapura Road,” an engineer says.

Officials and policemen Metrolife contacted were reluctant to be named for this story. They cited elections as the reason for their refusal to go on record.

“The delay in procuring the material could have slowed down the pace. The kerb stones and interlocking cobblestones have to be ordered, and that will take more time,” he says.

Vijayaraghavan
Vijayaraghavan

Vijayaraghavan, priest
It is now very difficult to cross the road near Krishnarao Park. There is no place for pedestrians, and the road.

Single-file traffic

The BBMP says it can complete the work by June 1. Pedestrians and those who drive on the road are the worst-affected. The otherwise broad roads have become difficult to navigate. 

Traffic moves in single file on several stretches, triggering huge traffic jams. Vehicles converging from two roads add to the chaos.

Traffic management woes

Police say it is difficult to manage traffic during peak hours. A senior inspector with the Basavanagudi traffic police station says, “Construction material is dumped on the main road, and that obstructs flow of traffic. We have written to the BBMP but they haven’t responded.”

Ashish Verma, associate professor of transportation systems engineering, Indian Institute of Science, says the decision to ‘white-top’ roads came after a public outcry over potholes.

Roads with cement concrete last longer, provided the underground utilities are planned well. About the uneven roads, and the hazards for motorists and pedestrians, he says, “This is a reflection of bad engineering and poor coordination.”   

Sujatha Nagaraj, homemaker 
The difference in height between the concrete road and the old road is huge. Crossing this stretch near Krishnarao Park has become a nightmare. You don’t know when you will fall or when a speeding vehicle will hit you.

Nothing happening

March this year. Motorists are enduring jams every single day. BBMP officials say they have 11 months to build 24 roads under their ‘white-topping’ project.

No work is in progress at the moment. Only 500 metres of 4.6 km is done, an official told Metrolife. That means a long, long way to go before your drive becomes comfortable around Basavanagudi.

 

Dr Nirupama Y S
Dr Nirupama Y S

Dr Nirupama Y S, gynaecologist 
The main roads have now become sort of one-way. We have to drive an extra mile to reach our destination. Travel time has gone up.

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Metrolife: Traffic chokes Basavanagudi

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