Tuesday, February 09, 2010

KPTCL digs, motorists in pits

KPTCL digs, motorists in pits
Power corporation’s digging work for laying cables on Vatal Nagaraj Road makes life hell for motorists; but KPTCL blames traffic for delaying its work

The KPTCL has dug up the Vatal Nagaraj Road for laying underground cables, leaving little room for motorists to move. Filled with dust and smoke, this ‘hell for motorists’ also poses a stiff challenge to the Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited.
The cable-laying work has been going on for the last two months and it is expected to last for another two weeks. KPTCL chief engineer Mahadev said, “We are laying 220-kv underground cables on the Vatal Nagaraj Road. To lay every 450-500 metres of cable, it takes a week’s time.”
Mahadev said the cables have been brought from Korea and need to be handled carefully. After every 450 metres, the lines have to be joined, which is a week-long process, and kept free from dust.
KPTCL blames the delay in its work to the traffic on the road. “Digging the road was not a problem. We have drawn the cable from 5th Block, Rajajinagar without any hassle. But the traffic on the Vatal Nagaraj Road is too heavy. Vehicles join the road from Rajajinagar 5th Block, Dr Rajkumar Road and Magadi Road. We cannot stop our work, nor can we stop people from driving on the road,” he said.
While the KPTCL is finding it difficult to lay the cables, motorists find it hard to manoeuvre on the road. Deshmukh Rai, an office-goer, said, “Traffic on the road begins to get thick in the early hours itself. If I have to reach office by 9 am, I have to leave Rajajinagar I Block at 7.30 am. But I get stuck on this road for almost half an hour and reach office late.”
There are no signboards or diversions en route, catching motorists off guard. “If any department is taking up work on the road, it can divert the traffic or fix signboards indicating some work is going on on the road, so we can take a detour,” said Govindan H P, a resident of Okalipuram.
“The traffic jam starts from Dr Rajkumar Road and goes on till the rear entrance of the railway station. It is not a pleasant journey,” he said.
The peak-hour traffic on the road is between 7 am and 11 am and between 4 pm and 9 pm. “Since we cannot work in the evening, work stops by 7 pm, after which traffic is smooth. But morning hours are difficult to deal with; we still have a kilometre and a half of road work left,” said Mahadev.
Jayaram K L, a resident of Rajajinagar, said, “If they wanted to dig up the road, they should have fixed signboards and put up enclosures to keep the road dust-free. The road is full of dust, posing lot of problems for an asthma patient like me.”


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