Monday, August 02, 2010

Humps on Mysore highway to go

Humps on Mysore highway to go
Jagadish Angadi, Bangalore, Aug 1, DH News Service:

Home Minister V S Acharya on Sunday promised that his government will do all it can to remove unauthorised and unscientific road humps on the Bangalore-Mysore highway “within less than 50 days.”

Speaking exclusively to Deccan Herald, Acharya said: “It’s a word of honour. I assure you, in a couple of months all unscientific humps will go.”

With this objective in mind, over the past three months, the home minister has shot off letters to all deputy commissioners and superintendents of police of the four districts, through which the highway runs, to take urgent steps to remove the speed-breakers.

Pointing out that the road humps menace “is terrible” in the Bangalore-Mandya stretch, Acharya said the government has taken an initiative to clear the highway of these obstacles despite feet dragging by officials. Three months back, the home minister had tried to have the speed breakers removed, but his efforts came to naught because of bureaucratic slack in Bangalore Rural, Ramanagar, Mandya and Mysore districts.

In the context of the home minister’s missives, Mandya Superintendent of Police Kaushalendra Kumar said: “Letters, identifying the unscientific road humps, were written by the deputy commissioner to the state government. We also promised to assist the agency that was to be given the contract,” Kumar said, indicating that the district authorities’ duty ended with identifying the speed breakers.

Public Works Department sources blame the unauthorised road humps on a nexus of local leaders and subordinate district officials who accord permission for the speed breakers to come up or turn a blind eye. Sometimes, dhaba and hotel-owners get speed breakers constructed. At other times, district authorities bow to the demands of villagers who often times meet with accidents.

Although Acharya denied any nexus, though he did admit that district officials are pushed to a corner by villagers to construct the speed breakers.

Acharya said a proper speed breaker must not be over 10 centimetres, but some of the dangerous ones on the highway have been noticed to go beyond 20 centimetres.

The state highway between Bangalore and Mandya is monitored by the Karnataka Road Development Corporation while the stretch between and Mandya and Mysore is under the supervision of the PWD. Although a stretch of the 131-km highway in Mandya, closer to Bangalore, has about 30 unauthorised humps, the KRDC has done nothing to have them removed.

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