Tuesday, December 01, 2009

THE INCOMPLETE MESS

THE INCOMPLETE MESS
BBMP takes up work on Tagore Circle underpass even as similar projects at Puttenahalli and Kadirenahalli overshoot deadlines, while residents go through misery
MANASI PARESH KUMAR


It has become the proverbial thorn in the BBMP’s flesh as protest against its implementation has reached a feverish pitch. Yet, the underpass work at the Tagore Circle has begun in full swing. Almost everyone has been questioning the need for the underpass at a junction where the vehicle density is less than 5,000. (An underpass is suggested only at a junction with a passenger car unit of more than 10,000). The BBMP has still gone ahead with the project with the excuse that it is only the implementing agency.
Setting aside the argument whether the underpass is needed or not, Bangalore Mirror conducted a reality check of a couple of other Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) projects going on in South Bangalore.
Both projects were expected to ease congestion at important junctions. Both were to be completed within 10 months, just like the BBMP has promised for the Tagore Circle underpass. But it is close to two years now, the people living around these projects are going through hell. Yet, they are nowhere near completion. Residents have one message to the BBMP: Clean up the mess before you begin elsewhere.
We present you the mess that are the Puttenahalli and Kadirenahalli underpasses.
“Though we have lived here for years, we have to stretch our imagination to remember what the road looked like before the construction work began. It is hard to believe this was once a smooth 100-feet road,” says industrialist H N Ramesh, whose house lines the ongoing works at Puttenahalli.
More than 20 houses and commercial spaces lie vacant on the stretch because you cannot get in. Once the main artery connecting Bannerghatta Road and Outer Ring Road, the underpass has been delayed by more than nine months. A dangerous road to navigate during the summer itself, the slush makes it a treacherous path for both people and vehicles during rains.
The Engineering Project India Ltd, which was awarded the contract, blames everyone but the BBMP and itself. Deputy General Manager S Manohar and Project Manager M P Jadav were out of town, but S Prasad, the supervisor who was in charge, said, “There was a delay in the shifting of cables and other logistics and then there was a stay on the cutting down of trees. This delayed the project a bit.”
On why the time required for logistics was not factored in, he has no answer. However, he was quick to say the project will be completed in the next three months. “The road to Jayanagar from Puttenahalli will be thrown open to the public in the next one month,” he assured.
PUTTENAHALLI
UNDERPASS
Dimension: 465 metres Approved under JNNURM in 2007 Started on May 2008 Original deadline: Was to be completed in 10 months Project cost: Rs 23 crore Affected areas: JP Nagar VI Phase, Anjaneyana Nagar, BTM Layout Current status: 50 per cent complete New proposed deadline: March 2010

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