Monday, March 01, 2010

Wheeler Road Flyover ready but not open to public

Wheeler Road Flyover ready but not open to public
AKANKSHA MEHROTRA
DC | BENGALURU


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THE PROJECT TOOK 4 YEARS TO COMPLETE; WILL CONNECT GYMKHANA GROUNDS AND ITC FACTORY IN EAST BENGALURU

: The inauguration of Wheeler Road Flyover con- necting Gymkhana Grounds and the ITC factory in east Bengaluru, which was to happen on Monday, has been put off. No fresh date has been announced. Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa was to inaugurate the much delayed project.
The flyover will enable residents of Cox Town, Banaswadi, Lingar- ajapuram, Seva Nagar, Kalyan Nagar and HRBR Layout reach the Central Business District (CBD) and places like Shivajinagar and MG Road faster.

Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, chief admini- strative officer (constru- ction), South Western Rail- ways (SWR), Vijaykumar said: "The flyover is com- plete and is ready for the inauguration."

Construction work began almost four years ago in July 2006 but was stalled several times. The project was first supposed to be completed by December 2007 but dragged on for another 26 months! One reason for the delay was the escalation in steel prices and the refusal of the contractor to carry out work unless compensated for the rising costs.

The halt in work had annoyed residents of Cox Town and other areas in the vicinity of the flyover who had to circumvent the regu- lar roads after the project began.

"We are really relieved to know that the flyover is ready. We have faced enough problems in the last four years with pedestri- ans and motorists suffering the most," said Joseph Paul, a resident of Frazer Town.

After failing to meet the December 2007 deadline, the authorities set September 2008 as the next deadline which also could not be achieved. Only 60 per cent of the work could be com- pleted forcing the authorities to extend the deadline.

"After the road near the Cox Town railway line was dug up for the project, it was impossible for vehicle riders to use the stretch to cross from Wheeler Road to Banaswadi Main Road. Pedestrians had to do a bal- ancing act while cyclists had to carry their cycles across the stretch. People who wanted to reach Sevanagar, Kalyan Nagar, Horamavu and places like KR Puram went through hell," said a KR Puram resident, Mahesh Kumar.

The narrow rail overbridge at Fraser Town which was used as an alternate route to travel to the CBD, did not help either with traffic jams during peak hours in the morning and evening delay- ing commuters and students alike. With people forced to take diversions, several acci- dents were also reported near the railway track.

"We are happy that the fly- over is complete but nothing has been done for the safety of pedestrians. Students from the two government schools located at Cox Town Circle and those from Jai Bharat Nagar, Maruti Seva Nagar and Jeevanahalli cross this railway track under the flyover to reach school quickly risking their safety. A subway will have to be constructed for them," said a school teacher, Venkat Raja. "The civic authorities had planned a pedes- trian subway below the flyover which has not been constructed.
The are five govern- ment schools and sev- eral private schools in and around the fly- over. Almost 1,000 school goers are com- pelled to cross the railways track to reach their schools and home since there is no other route.
When the flyover was being constructed, the frequency and speed of trains was restricted on this line.
The restrictions are likely to go on posing a threat to those who walk across the track.
We want a pedestrian subway to be con- structed as soon as possible to prevent accidents from hap- pening."

-- K.P. Abraham, Residents Welfare Associa- tion Bengaluru East (REWABE) president

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