Monday, July 26, 2010

Inauguration can wait

Inauguration can wait
People start using bridge over crossing near Whitefield rail station even though formal opening has been postponed
Neethu.Reghukumar @timesgroup.com


After putting up with delays for five years while a 42-metre bridge was being constructed over a major crossing near Whitefield railway station, motorists lost their patience when its July 15 inauguration was postponed indefinitely. Instead of waiting for a fresh date, they have begun using the much-needed bridge.
The bridge is on the route used by residents of Kadugodi, Belathur and Hoskote going towards Bangalore International Airport and National Highway 4. Even people from Electronics City and Tamil Nadu prefer this route to reach the airport, as the volume of traffic is relatively less.
But, since almost 40 trains pass through this section, the crossing was turning into a major roadblock.
Arul Varman, a resident of Belathur, has been using this route for 10 years. He says, “It used to take at least 30 minutes to cross the tracks, but now it is a matter of two minutes.”
An overbridge was mooted in September 2005. South Western Railway awarded the contract in 2006. Work was supposed to be completed in September 2007. But, work suffered due to cost escalation and the contractor’s inability to execute the project. Apart from the trains, motorists had to put up with the construction work too.
Roshan K Suresh, Belathur resident and IT professional, says, “I used to take a longer route, travel another an extra six km, to get to my office at Whitefield. The commute used to take me over 45 minutes. Now it takes just 15 minutes.”
With such benefits, motorists refused to let something like a formal inauguration get in their way.
Railway authorities have no explanation for postponing the inauguration. They are yet to fix a date for the inauguration ceremony.

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