Monday, January 11, 2010

Flyover’s ‘tussle’ with poll code!

Flyover’s ‘tussle’ with poll code!
The Sumanahalli flyover is to be inaugurated by the Chief Minister on Jan 14, but a recce shows it is far from spruced up for the ribbon-cutting
NIRANJAN KAGGERE


The upcoming BBMP polls appear to have prodded the authorities into speeding up various infrastructural projects across the city. But the haste to reap the political dividends before the electoral code of conduct comes into force ignores the fact that several projects are nowhere near completion.
The ‘inauguration fever’ has not only put unnecessary pressure on project workers but has also affected the general public, as the round-the-clock work has thrown traffic out of gear. Take the case of the Sumanahalli flyover across Magadi Road. Even as Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa on Saturday announced that he would inaugurate the flyover on Jan 14, it is plain for anyone to see that the project requires at least a couple of months more to be fully operational.
Bangalore Mirror did a test drive at the site on Sunday and found a chaotic scene, with work going on at a frenzied pace to meet the deadline. Speaking to Bangalore Mirror, a senior engineer with BDA said, “We have almost completed the work. Only a few patches on the flyover need to be asphalted and will be done by Sunday night or Monday morning.”
STILL ON STILTS
Though the engineers and other personnel on the site claimed that the flyover was ready for regular traffic, the 323-metre long, 22-metre wide, elevated stretch across the busy Magadi road at Sumanahalli still lacks footpaths, medians and concrete barricades. According to a foreman at the site, the asphalting may need only a couple of days. “However, the side ramps and concrete medians require time as they need to be cured well to withstand the pressure of traffic,” he said.
From afar, the flyover looks like fulfilling the promise of a signal-free drive for those commuting between Mysore Road and Tumkur Road. But close up, the supporting stilts create a sense of unease. Besides, construction material lies strewn all over. “We would have removed them, but it would have affected traffic flow. We are looking for a suitable time to remove the stilts,” said Devaraj, a junior engineer. He said two approach roads measuring 200 metres alongside the flyover were ready, while the bus bay and other facilities were yet to be completed.
TRAFFIC GOES FOR TOSS
The flyover was initially planned for inauguration on Jan 9. However, the chief minister’s non-availability and the incomplete status of the work forced the officials to defer the date.The rush to meet the deadline has affected traffic along Magadi Road. According to the traffic police, there was a huge traffic jam on Thursday and Friday as the workers had closed the busy road.
“The traffic jam extended till Housing Board Colony on Magadi Road and till Kanteerava Studio Bridge near Tumkur Road. It was tough for us to control the situation. I am worried about how they will remove the stilts without affecting traffic, as it involves the removal of huge iron sheets used to support the flyover beams,” the police said.

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