Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Metro trail: Messy roads, drying taps

Metro trail: Messy roads, drying taps
Bengaluru


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The much-hyped Metro Rail project, touted as the solution to the city's traffic woes, has resulted in unforseen problems for those who live in the vicinity of the construction sites. Experts say the project could have been handled better with better planning, report Chandrashekar G. and Akanksha Mehrotra.

The Metro Rail may have been conceived to ease traffic conditions in the city in the long run, but it is succeeding in making the lives of people more difficult in the short term as adequate safety and ecofriendly measures don't appear to have been taken to avoid causing them inconvenience while it is under construction.
Experts in project management say the Namma Metro project could have been handled better with a lot more diligence.
It is nothing short of a daily nightmare for the people residing in and around the Metro Rail construction sites as lack of coordination among the various agencies has disrupted their water supply and sanitary networks. "BMRCL workers have damaged water supply lines depriving people of water supply and forcing them to depend on tanker water while BWSSB takes its time in plugging the leaks," says Dr Nagaraj, a resident of Rajajinagar, complaining that the BMRCL project has been contributing to the already erratic water supply and poor sanitary network of the city by breaking the pipelines.

"BMRCL should supervise the work being executed by the contractors to prevent this sort of thing," he suggests. "The Metro Rail work has been causing a lot of pollution, roads are in a big mess, and safety is a big concern," complain others, pointing out that the roads along the Metro project are a mess with huge potholes and debris strewn over them, making life difficult for commuters whether in buses or in cars, who have no choice but to use the battered roads.
Noise and air pollution have become rampant too. While the noise keeps people awake, the air pollution is causing respiratory problems and allergies, they add.

President of Rajajinagar 1st Block Residents Welfare Association Col. Palani Raj says despite stiff opposition from the residents of Rajajinagar, the Bescom has decided to shift a 440 volts transformer to a residential locality to make way for the Mahalakshmi Layout Metro station. "This shows how poor BMRCL and Bescom authorities are in planning and executing infrastructure projects.
Installing such a huge transformer in a residential locality cannot be accepted," he adds.

Traffic advisor to the Chief Minister M.N. Srihari says environment and traffic impact studies should be taken into account when implementing the Metro rail project.

"In developed countries, environment impact assessment and traffic studies are considered very seriously for such projects.
But BMRCL has not taken such studies seriously enough," he feels. Environmentalist A.N.
Yellappa Reddy says an environment committee had made several suggestions for the construction of the underground section of the Metro rail, tunnel and stations and hopes they will be taken into account for the convenience of the people.

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