Wednesday, May 12, 2010

City digs deep for traffic solution

City digs deep for traffic solution

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` The government has to take the cost into account and consult the public before embarking on a project of this magnitude and capital investment. The viability and suitability of the project on Bengaluru roads has to be assessed.

N. MUKUND, Member, Citizen Action Forum Tunnel roads will help ease the city's traffic congestion.
But the planners need to plan them well and locate them at the most important locations in the city. Authorities should make sure that trees are not lost in the process.

RAMMURTHY, Member, JC Nagar Residents Welfare Association Tunnel roads will definitely provide some relief to the city with the number of private and public vehicles on the rise. People using their own vehicles could use the tunnel roads giving more ` room for buses.

A senior transport official The state government's proposal to construct tunnel roads to decongest areas in the city with heavy traffic, has received a mixed response. While some say that it is costly and not viable for a city like Ben galuru, others feel the roads could provide the right mix with Metro and Mono Rails without threatening the city's green cover, report Chandrashekar G. and Akanksha Mehrotra.

After moving skywards to decongest Bengaluru's roads with skywalks, flyovers and the Metro Rail, the government is now planning to go underground, tunnelling through the innards of the city to give its fast growing traffic a freeway. It is not acting on a sudden whim.
The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) had suggested tunnelling between Minsk Square and Hebbal flyover to ease traffic conditions in this part of the city some time ago. But nothing came of the project, which was shelved for various reasons.

The concept has now been revived with transport minister R. Ashok announcing the city will have five tunnel roads in areas which see heavy traffic and where road widening is nearly impossible. To begin with a tunnel road has been planned in the Central Business District (CBD), between Avenue Road and the busy Majestic area.

"These roads, which will be built entirely underground, are ideal for parts of the city where there is one-way traffic over a long stretch like JC Road. While traffic could move in one direction on the surface road, it could flow in the other direction in the tunnel road, making life much easier for motorists on either side. Besides being swanky and modern the tunnel roads will allow commuters save travel time," explains traffic advisor to the government Prof. M.N.

The project could, however, be a costly affair, as a tunnel road will take a lot more investment than a flyover to build.

According to some esti mates a stretch of tunnel road will cost around Rs 160 crore to build. But while cost may be a deterrent, traffic experts are all for taking a multipronged approach to solving Bengaluru's traffic problems.

Senior engineer Prof.
C.E.G. Justo says tunnel roads could provide the right mix with the Metro and Mono Rails to take the pressure off Bengaluru's surface roads. Land will only have to be acquired at the entry and exit points for these roads, which will not require axing of trees either, thereby proving no threat to the city's green cover, he adds.

"We have the best of engineering technology for tunnelling.

The roads can be built with Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM) and controlled blasting can used in areas with hard rock without causing harm to structures above the ground," Mr Justo explains.

But attracting investors for such a huge project could be a problem as the PWD and Karnataka State Road Development Corporation (KRDCL) are finding it difficult to even find contractors to carry out upgradation of roads.

Considering the money involved, experts suggest the government prepare a feasibility report to weigh the pros and cons before launching the scheme. UNDERGROUND Sheikh Maktoum Underpass in Dubai.

Guoliang Tunnel in China.

Laerdal Tunnel in Aurland, Norway.

Hsuehshan Tunnel in Taipei.

Forbifart Stockholm Tunnel in Stockholm in Sweden.

Arlberg Tunnel in Austria.

Gotthard Tunnel in Lepontine Alps, Switzerland.

Hongnanshan Tunnel in China.


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