Monday, June 21, 2010

Flyover fails to send biz soaring

Flyover fails to send biz soaring

Shopkeepers on service roads along cox town bridge have lost nearly 60%-80% of their customers

Team DNA. Bangalore



It's less than a kilometre long, and took four years to complete. The Cox Town flyover, inaugurated in March 2010 by chief minister BS Yeddyurappa, has left some people quite sore — the very construction of the flyover adversely affected shopkeepers in the area; now, with its completion, they see little hope of being able to regain lost customers. The problem was compounded when a traffic signal was introduced at the foot of the flyover, towards Kamaraj Road, reducing traffic flow into service lanes.
With business shrinking, in some cases by about 80%, shopkeepers in the area who have been catering to customers on the service roads for decades, find themselves forced to consider moving elsewhere.
The flyover, which was meant to ease the flow of traffic to Frazer Town and Cox Town from the Maruti Seva Nagar and Hennur-Banasawadi, has indeed cut short commuting time. But shopkeepers now complain that the new flyover had made many of the service roads in the area serve the purpose of footpaths. There is little scope for business on the sides of these roads. One shopkeeper complained, "We feel quite cheated. When the flyover was built, we were told that any inconvenience would be temporary. So we bore with the problems for four years. Now that the construction is complete, I see little scope of business picking up."
The road stretches over the Bangalore East Railway lines, and links the Komala restaurant junction and the ITC factory junction. Space under the flyover, envisaged for use as a parking lot, has slowly been converted into a garbage dump. Construction material lies uncleared here; vehicles are seen parked in a haphazard manner.
MS Devraj, owner of an MRF Tyres outlet in the area, said, "I have been in this business and at this location for 24 years. During the construction of the flyover, we faced several problems. The shop was shut for nearly two years. The increased traffic on the flyover has meant less business for me. There was little need for a flyover that is so short, less than a kilometre long; a bridge across the level crossing might have served the purpose, and not disrupted livelihoods."
K Murthy, who runs a confectionery on a service road in Cox Town, said, "I have been here for 13 years; there is another confectionery nearby that has also faced similar problems. Business has been badly hit ever since the flyover work began. I plan to shut and move elsewhere."
A leading dentist, whose clinic has been functioning in this area, said, "I have been disappointed with the whole flyover project. Perhaps a magic box was all we needed. And it might appear like the traffic congestion has eased, but in actual fact, the congestion has only shifted — earlier, the Banaswadi Road would bear the brunt of heavy traffic flow; now congestion occurs here." Asked about business, he said, "It's taken quite a blow. We were assured that all would be normal once the
flyover was complete, but that has not happened."

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