Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A bridge to nowhere City Ballot Problems

A bridge to nowhere City Ballot Problems

Deepika Arwind
The flyover on the rail line at Kadugodi is incomplete
— FILE Photo: K. Murali Kumar

A LONG WAIT: The deadline for completion of work on the flyover was 2009-end but nothing has come out of it.
BANGALORE: Over a year and a half after work on it began in 2008, one of Whitefield’s eagerly awaited civic projects — a flyover across the railway line at Kadugodi — is still incomplete, even after the Railways said that it would be completed by the end of 2009.

A collaborative project between the Railways and the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), this flyover connecting Whitefield, which is part of Mahadevapura Assembly Constituency, and the Bengaluru International Airport (BIA) via Budigere Road stands exactly the way after work on it was stopped in August 2008. The cost of the project had been estimated at Rs. 10 crore, shared between the Railways and the BBMP.

The incomplete flyover is emphasised by its abrupt end just in front of the Whitefield railway line. People have no choice but to cross the railway line to get to the other side. Anxious residents of Whitefield and surrounding areas continue to wait for the bridge’s completion, asking only one question: “Why has it taken so long to complete the bridge?”

It is a whole 52 kilometres for anyone who wants to go to the airport from the other side of the railway line, involving a long detour and choked road, complains a resident. The crumbling pieces of the bridge pose a hazard to those who cross the rail line.

“It is not just the people who have to take a detour that are affected but also those who live around the railway line,” says Manju, a vegetable vendor. He says that he has children who often play along the railway line and are in constant risk of being involved in an accident.

“Residents were promised that by March 2009, traffic would ease and commuters would not have to worry about crossing the railway line on foot or taking a detour,” Aditya Jaiswal, IT professional and Whitefield resident, told The Hindu.

But this incomplete project does not affect just those who live in Whitefield. People living in industrial areas and the suburbs such as Hoskote and Athibele take a three-to-five kilometre deviation to reach the international airport.

“We often forget that the international airport is also used by those residing on the outskirts of the city,” says J. Kanthiraj, also a Whitefield resident. There is also a Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation bus stop at Kadugodi, close to the incomplete flyover. The dangerous U-Turn that buses take under the bridge is also worrisome for frequent commuters.

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