Saturday, May 22, 2010

Choker of a road

Choker of a road

Sharan PoovannaExpress News ServiceFirst Published : 22 May 2010 12:22:20 AM ISTLast Updated : 22 May 2010 07:25:42 AM IST
BANGALORE: Eyjafjallajokull’s unexpected eruption in Iceland disrupted air traffic for many days in many countries. But Bangalore can likely match the episode with a cloud of dust that is taking shape on Old Madras Road, that is disrupting everyday traffic and also ensuring that people who pass by this road are given generous amounts of dust to wipe off their faces. The road that was dug up by the BWSSB for laying water and sewage pipes a few months ago has a dusty tale to tell all those unfortunate ones who take this route.
This stretch of road sees one of the heaviest vehicle densities as it is part of the highway and connects many major areas of Bangalore East. “All this dust has made me allergic and I cough constantly,” said Manjula, a tea stall owner who runs her business near the bus stop. Speaking to the Expresso, she said that she loses considerable business as most of the people are repelled by the amount of dust that comes their way.
Heavy traffic also makes crossing the road a very stressful and time-consuming affair and most people are forced to cover their faces with anything that is readily available, notes Priya, a student and regular commuter on the road. “Its depressing,” she said, as she added that she is forced to walk through the stretch as autorickshaw drivers often make the bad roads an excuse to either inflate the fare or deny them a ride.
While cars and buses are forced to move at snail’s pace as loose stones fly around them and the ground caves beneath them, pedestrians and people on two wheelers bear the brunt the most. “It is impossible for two wheelers and pedestrians to see more than a foot,” said Narayana, who works in the adjoining BDA Complex. She observed that cars and buses have the benefit of protective glass but the visibility was still poor. Pitched in C Madesh, an accountant who regularly takes the road, “The metro work might take a long time, but I wish that the authorities mend such busy roads.” “There was a meeting held some time ago and the BWSSB chief engineer agreed to restore the road. But that has evidently not happened,” said Somashekar, BBMP chief engineer (East Zone). He added that it was imperative for the agency to allocate restoration work cost along with the rest of their expenses.
BWSSB chief engineer Venkat Raju was unavailable for comment.

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