Bridge over troubled waters
Bridge over troubled waters
The road overbridge (RoB) at Lingarajapuram has proved to be more of a bottleneck for the smooth passage of traffic.
It is nearly three years now since the inauguration of the road overbridge (RoB) at Lingarajapuram. It was constructed at a cost of Rs 15.43 crore and was inaugurated on October 16, 2004. Over the last three years, the bridge has proved to be more of a bottleneck for the smooth passage of traffic.
The two-lane, 684-metre grade separator has reinforced earth-retaining approaches. It connects Hennur Main Road to Outer Ring Road, Shivajinagar and the central business district. It is 10 kms from the City Railway Station and passes over Yeshwantapur-Salem railway track.
With the commissioning of the bridge, it is as if life has been divided into two—life over the bridge and life under the bridge. Life over the bridge has a larger connotation as it gives access to a large number of people in the surrounding areas. Many feel that the lanes are too narrow for an important arterial road. There is a traffic jam both on and off the bridge during peak hours. In the morning the jam occurs on the lane moving towards the City. In the evenings, the traffic jam is on the opposite lane, when the commuters go home.
One of the reasons for the traffic jam is the parking of vehicles and autorickshaws near the St Charles High School, which is located just near the starting point of the bridge. This resricts the free-flow of vehicles. Attempts have been made to set right this bottleneck, but the problem persists.
Life under the bridge is a nightmare to those who are compelled to walk. There are at least 200 shops on either side of the road across the bridge.
There are several streets under the bridge—Gospel Street, 4th Cross Hutchin's Road, Old Bagalur Layout Main Road among several other cross roads, which lead to residential localities with thousands of houses.
The residents are compelled to use what is left of the Hennur Main Road under the bridge. There are 24 pillars, tapering towards the ends, right in the middle of the road. Besides there are potholes or rather craters. In the monsoon there are large pools of stagnant water.
The Salem-Yeshwantpur railway track is not only unmanned, but it is also not barricaded and as a result vehicles keep moving across the track. This is a dangerous practice since trains keep moving all night and day and train frequencies are proposed to be increased on this route. Vehicles can get stuck in the tracks especially during monsoons. According to Railway authorities there is a person deputed to keep a watch from 7 am to 7 pm, but not many have seen this person.
“There is haphazard movement of vehicles under the bridge since there are no rules. Pedestrians do not know which direction vehicles are coming from. Added to this there are stray dogs and cows moving at random”, laments Shankaran, a resident.
Vegetable and fruit vendors also use the space between the bridge pillars. Every morning, vegetables are brought in tempos and unloaded here. Business is done either on push carts or by squatting on the ground. At the end of the day, the vendors litter the place with vegetable waste. Garbage is also dumped in a large vacant site near the tracks.
Another bottleneck in the narrow passage on the side of the bridge near St Charles School. School children walking to school use this passage. Autos and cars also use this passage and this leads to jams during school hours.
“The jams cause pollution in the form of nauseating fumes from the exhaust of the vehicles, which is not good for children’s health”, says a parent.
Although attempts have been made by the traffic police and even volunteers, who are often seen guiding students and traffic, many feel that much of the problem can be solved with a little discipline on part of the people like avoiding parking of vehicles near the school and boarding buses near the school.