Tuesday, December 08, 2009

When Minsk Square closes for Metro work, drive into a gridlock

When Minsk Square closes for Metro work, drive into a gridlock

Anil Kumar Sastry
‘Vehicles using the stretch will be encouraged to use alternative routes’
—Photo: Sampath Kumar G.P.

Mute spectator: The War Memorial Statue at Minsk Square that has been wrapped owing to Metro work in Bangalore.
Bangalore: The closure of Minsk Square for construction of the Cricket Stadium underground metro station will not only entail felling of 22 trees inside the Cubbon Park for the alternative road, but also throw up a traffic gridlock in the central parts of the city.

Road users have to bear this gridlock for months together, and this endurance is subject to the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) completing the construction as promised — within 36 months from the date of awarding the contract. In fact, BMRCL is yet to award the contract for construction of underground stations and tunnels.

Important link
Minsk Square has been an important link between northern and southern parts of Bangalore and thousands of vehicles pass through this square using Queen’s Road, Cubbon Road and Raj Bhavan Road.

Closure of the square will have a cascading effect on the traffic right up to Manipal Centre on Cubbon Road, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Siddalingaiah Circle, Hudson Circle, Basaveshwara Circle, Mekhri Circle and Cantonment.

Alternative routes
After the closure of Minsk Square, one-lane traffic from Balekundri Circle towards Queen’s Circle will be allowed, while Cubbon Road will be closed between Minsk Square and BRV Junction. This arrangement could cater to only 50 to 60 per cent of the present traffic volume at the junction, said Praveen Sood, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic and Safety).

At Queen’s Junction, vehicles will enter Cubbon Park and move towards Press Club and join the Dr. Ambedkar Veedhi after negotiating Election Commission office and the old KGID building using the proposed alternative road.

On the other hand, vehicles from Infantry Road will continue on Bhagawan Mahaveer Road and take a right turn to join Cubbon Road.

Mr. Sood said that since many vehicles passing through the Minsk Square use the stretch as a thoroughfare, such vehicles will be encouraged to use alternative routes.

Diversion
The stretch of Outer Ring Road between K.R. Puram and Hebbal is being made signal-free and many airport-bound vehicles could be diverted on that stretch. Similarly, the Jayamahal Road is being widened to take double the traffic and vehicles will have to use Miller’s Road and Cantonment underpass to move towards Mekhri Circle and the BIAL.

Busy locations
Only Minsk Square and Vidhana Soudha underground stations of the Bangalore metro are proposed to be located right in the middle of busy arterial roads, while the rest — Central College, Majestic, Chickpet and K.R. Market — are either located within government properties or acquired private properties.

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