Friday, May 14, 2010

Freeway planned under congested Avenue Road

Freeway planned under congested Avenue Road

T.S. Ranganna
A tunnel is to be built under the road for the purpose
The freeway will avoid displacement of people, commercial establishments

Chief Minister to place proposal at the Global Investors' Meet commencing from June 3

— File Photo

Busy thoroughfare:Avenue Road in Bangalore may not look quite so crowded if the proposed freeway comes into being.
Bangalore: The State Government is keen on constructing a 1.5-km freeway under the busy Avenue Road linking Fort High School grounds on K.R. Road to Maharani's College grounds on Seshadri Road in the heart of the city.

Disclosing this to The Hindu, Deputy Chairman of the State Planning Board D.H. Shankaramurthy said that a tunnel would be built through which the freeway would be laid to ease congestion on J.C. Road, Silver Jubilee Park Road, Nrupathunga Road, Goodshed Road and Cottonpet Road. Whether it would be a narrow ‘road over road' for to and fro traffic between the two junctions or a six-lane double road will be decided later.

Dire need

He said that traffic on these roads had doubled, especially during peak hours after the shifting of the international airport to Devanahalli. Seeing such underground roads in cities such as Singapore, Mr. Shankaramurthy felt that it could be implemented under Avenue Road.

This road would avoid displacement of one lakh people working in various offices, business establishments, law offices and numerous shops, apart from temples and masjids/dargahs on the narrow ancient road. It would also save the trouble of razing buildings. Litigations and payments and payment of compensation could be done away with.

In-principle approval

Mr. Shankaramurthy said he had held two meetings with Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, Chief Secretary S.V. Ranganath and principal secretaries of different departments, and the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike Commissioner Bharat Lal Meena and other experts. All of them had given in-principle approval for the plan.

He said the road would cost around Rs. 300 crore at the rate of Rs. 50 crore a km.

The cost includes construction machinery which would be around Rs. 150 crore. The company, which sells it, would buy it back after the work was over for 30 per cent of the price, he said.

The Deputy Chairman said the underground road could be completed within a year as there would be no obstruction whatsoever.

Traffic too would be unaffected.

He said that the Chief Minister would place this proposal before investors at the Global Investors' Meet commencing from June 3.

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