Sunday, July 04, 2010

FLYOVER LIGHTS OFF TO HIGHLIGHT ADS

FLYOVER LIGHTS OFF TO HIGHLIGHT ADS
(AND IF YOU CAN’T SEE IN THE DARK, TOO BAD)
Read why BBMP has made the Dairy Circle flyover dark
Shyam.Prasad1 @timesgroup.com


There are 150 street lights on Dairy Circle flyover and not one of them is working. But the advertising hoarding attached to each street light blazes away in full neon glory. Commercial interests at the cost of public safety? Looks like it is some kind of ambush marketing! This two-way flyover, half a kilometre long, which connects Wilson Garden, Lal Bagh and other areas of south Bangalore to Koramangala, is used on an average by 4,800 PSUs every hour. Strangely, the street lights on either side of the flyover, where there are no hoardings, are working perfectly. “The advertisements are perhaps working because they pay heavily. The BESCOM supplies power to the street lights and each pole functions independently. It is surprising that all the lights on the flyover are not working at the same time,” said Sreehari M N, a traffic engineering expert.
Motorists using the flyover after dusk have to follow the tail lights of other vehicles to navigate safely to the other end. There are no red or yellow road studs or reflective stickers to indicate the edges of the flyover. At the same time, headlights of vehicles coming from the opposite direction are like starbursts in your eyes. It’s very disconcerting.
“I entered the flyover from the Christ College side. The road is well lit till there. But as soon you get on to the flyover, it turns pitch black. Only the advertisement hoardings are visible. You can barely make out the road ahead of you. I bumped into the side of the barricade and was lucky not to fall over,” said Kumar, a finance manager at a car showroom. He has decided not to use a bike on the flyover till the lights are back. “What is surprising is the fact that each and every advertisement board is lit. It looks deliberate since the street lights are working on either side of the flyover where there are no hoardings,” he added.
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) took over the maintenance of the Dairy Circle flyover a month back. “The BDA was maintaining them until last month. When they handed it over we found that the entire cabling has gone wrong. It is due to vibration. There will be a short-circuit if power is relayed. So BESCOM has disconnected electricity supply,” said BBMP’s Assistant Executive Engineer (electrical) Ramanjaneya. The advertisement hoardings however seem to have no cable problems.
BDA was maintaining the flyover since its completion in 2004. Executive Engineer, South, (electrical) of BDA, Rangaswamy, felt that the bulbs have simply conked. All at once? “The contract for the hoardings would have been given a long time ago and these private parties draw separate power lines. It is most likely that the bulbs have died,” he said.
Sampath, a motorist who uses the flyover regularly, is not buying that. “If private power lines do not get damaged due to vibration all the street lights should be privatised. Instead of BDA handing over the flyover to the BBMP, they should hand it over to some advertiser who will keep it well lit,” he fumed.

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