Sunday, February 14, 2010

Puttenahalli underpass: Still a long way to go

Puttenahalli underpass: Still a long way to go

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: Residents of JP Nagar, 6th, 7th and 8th phases have started wondering why they did not oppose the Puttenahalli underpass project in the first place.
The project which was launched more than two years ago, is nowhere near completion and has forced people of the area to take numerous detours to reach their destinations.

Anyone who visits the project site, is greeted with the sight of heaps of mud, broken dividers and a dug up road with the underpass still a bare, unfinished stretch of concrete.

The underpass is being built at 15th Cross which is the intersection of JP Nagar 24th Main and the Ring Road, a major road in south Bengaluru. It was conceived to ease the traffic flow from the southern reaches of the city which now have several bustling residential layouts, most of them under BBMP.

Officials in charge of the project confided that it would take at least three more months to complete the underpass after which the surface road on 24th Main would have to be reconstructed. Only 20 per cent of the work is over, according to them.

The project was supposed to be completed in February 2009, according to a hoarding put up by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP)! What's more appalling is the snail's pace at which work is progressing. "The Ring Road at 15th Cross remains blocked and vehicles have to take a long detour to reach the other side of JP Nagar. This sort of delay is unacceptable," said a resident, Balakrishnan R.

The huge ditch, slippery road and muddy footpaths at the intersection of 24th Main and the Ring Road due to the ongoing construction, has forced senior citizens and children who reside on the road to stay indoors for fear of hurting themselves.

An Andhra Pradesh-based engineering company was given the contract for the project and has outsourced it to a private contractor who, according to sources, is not fully equipped to undertake such constructions. This has further delayed the completion of work, they said.

"Last year, transport minister R. Ashok, who is the minister in charge of Bengaluru, set a deadline of February 10 to complete 80 per cent of the work and June 30 to finish the entire project. One deadline has passed while the other is unlikely to be met. People have been suffering for too long. The severe noise and air pollution is unbearable," said another resident, Shobha Swaminathan. With the normal routes to Jayanagar, Bannerghatta Road and Kanakapura Road no longer available, motorists and buses have to make their way through narrow roads in residential localities which has led to an increase in accidents. -- R. SAMUEL If you face any problems on the street where you live that need to be highlighted in Deccan Chronicle, email editorblr@


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