Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Namma Metro, namma problems

Namma Metro, namma problems

Anil Kumar Sastry
— Photo: K. Gopinathan

ONCE UPON A ROAD: The water-filled craters on Indiranagar 100-Foot Road pose a hazard to both riders as well as pedestrians.
BANGALORE: The daily ordeal, not to mention hazard, Bangaloreans face thanks to the construction of the biggest infrastructure project in the city — Namma Metro — continues unabated, even though the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) says it has a public grievance redressal mechanism.

Unprotected open trenches, uneven roads, and even falling objects from the elevated rail under construction, pose a grave threat to road users and pedestrians. The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) says roads on the Metro alignment are the responsibility of the BMRCL, which must maintain them and look after safety aspects.

On Indiranagar 100-Foot Road, the roads around the Namma Metro worksite resemble dirt tracks. Some thoughtful souls have placed stones around the water-filled craters as a warning sign.

Squeezing road users thus has its unpleasant side effects. Y.K. Muddukrishna, a retired senior bureaucrat, said two months back he came across two motorcycle-borne miscreants waylaying a car being driven by a woman on R.V. Road. The woman was hemmed in with no place to move. Mr. Muddukrishna, who was just behind her car, got out and swung his stick at the men, forcing them to flee.

On the other hand, workers at the site have also been casualties. On October 8, Subroto Roy, working at the site near Vijayanagar, died when a steel mesh being hauled by a crane hit him. A sleeping security guard on M.G. Road and two other workers undertaking building demolition activities have died this year.

Grievance redressal
When The Hindu asked Bangalore Metro Managing Director N. Sivasailam about the grievance redressal mechanism, he said it was “in place”. Aggrieved citizens could write to him, he said. “The details are available on www.bmrc.co.in,” he added.

When The Hindu checked it out Saturday afternoon, the webpage had this message: “Account for domain www.bmrc.co.in has been suspended.” The site became active only on Monday.

When Mr. Sivasailam’s attention was drawn towards the chaos that the Namma Metro project was causing on the roads, he said it was not for the media to speak on behalf of the public. “If you have received any representations from the public, you may forward them to me so that I can answer them suitably,” he said.

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