Friday, June 22, 2007

Puzzle called Cantonment Bridge

Puzzle called Cantonment Bridge
Friday June 22 2007 08:24 IST

BANGALORE: The road under bridge (RuB) near Cantonment Railway Station seems to puzzle the motorists everyday.

The new bridge has a twin-box addition beside the existing box. It could provide six-lanes for two streams of one-way traffic.

The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) which has commissioned the project two years ago seems no less puzzled than the road users on the utility of too many RuBs.

The Palike has thrown open one box with two lanes for traffic from Vasanthanagar to Jayamahal while the traffic coming from Jayamahal and Miller’s Road uses the old RuB. But another twin-box in the middle of the two is under construction, and one wonders who will use it.

The traffic from Miller’s Road is one-way toward the Railway Station and it is disallowed toward Vasanthnagar which can only take the old RuB while the traffic from Jayamahal too has to take the same route.

That can account for one twin box. When asked about what was happening, Palike engineers said even they do not know. ‘‘The project has been going on for last two years and there have been many modifications involving several engineers,’’ said the sources.

However, Palike’s technical consultant R Jayaprasad said that no box was redundant. ‘‘Actually Railways is planning to extend the platform of Cantonment Station till the old RuB. They would close half of it and reserve another half only for use of its passengers.

When that happens, the two twin boxes would take care of the traffic,’’ he said. The road on Jayamahal side is at a lower level compared to Miller’s Road. The RuB is designed to address the issue, he said.

But who owns the old RuB, and if it was owned by Palike, how can it be closed without acquiring it first? ‘‘It is an infrastructure of the nation. Palike has allowed Railways to close it.

There is no need for formal acquisition,’’ Jayaprasad said. The project is delayed for nearly a year.

Would it not lead to escalation of cost? Jayaprasad explained: ‘‘Palike has deposited Rs 5 crore with Indian Railways which is executing the project. Escalation would not be borne by BBMP.’’ The new RuB would be completed by August, he added.

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