Friday, November 27, 2009

Civic agencies to coordinate on city projects

Civic agencies to coordinate on city projects
First Of Such Exercise Will Be On Bannerghatta Road
Aarthi R | TNN

Bangalore: There’s some hope for Bangaloreans. For long, we’ve cursed the lack of coordination between civic agencies as they went about their work. Often, one agency wouldn’t know what the other was up to and this resulted in chaos — right on the roads.
From now on, no public work can commence without all agencies involved signing on a ‘public works coordination agreement’. The traffic police will sign it last in case of BBMP work and BBMP will sign it last in all other cases.
‘Roads closed-traffic diverted’ boards are a common sight across the city. And we waited in vain for works to be completed. The Maharani College underpass and the drain works at the Brigade Road-Residency Road junction are classic examples of uncoordinated projects.
The new rule will apply for all works in the city — from regular maintenance works of Bescom, BBMP, BWSSB and BSNL to big, long infrastructure projects like the Bangalore Metro. For all projects, traffic diversions will be put in place and work will start only after the document is prepared and signed by all agencies concerned.
The first project under this guidelines will be Bannerghatta Road. The work to strengthen the old and weak culvert here might render the entire stretch out of bounds for traffic for almost a month. The other project is the CMH Road works which mainly involves BMRC and BWSSB. BMRC is ready to lay the road if BWSSB completes drain works. Traffic police will initiate diversions only after the document is signed and preliminary works are completed.
“The main objective is to bring about a sense of ownership and accountability among civic agencies so that onsite confusion is reduced. It also hopes to reduce the inconvenience to people most affected by these works and the traffic diversions,’’ explains Ashwin Mahesh, urban research strategist and adviser to CM on urban affairs.
The traffic police will perhaps benefit a lot from this initiative. “We have always assured agencies that no work will wait for traffic clearance. However, there are cases when agencies dig up the road without preparatory work, not even arranging for raw material. It’s left us with no proper time to plan diversions. Further, some works have no clear upper limit to when they need the road closed. Perhaps this document will change it all,’’ said additional commissioner of police (traffic) Praveen Sood.
Two works which came up last week were not allowed to proceed as there was no proper preparation work.
THE DOCUMENT
REQUIRES
Details on description and exact location of works Start and end dates Commitment from agencies concerned that the road will be restored to original state (if not better) after the works
HOW IT WORKS
Agency doing the work will prepare the document, sign it and also get signatures of all related agencies and submit to the traffic department and BBMP for clearance
THE THUMB RULE
First document the work and raw materials Finish secondary works Traffic diversion or roads closed just before work begins

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