Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Nerve-wracking ride to Nimhans

Nerve-wracking ride to Nimhans
Traffic and potholes combine to make this stretch a traumatic one. The irony is that it leads to the country’s premier mental health institute
Manasi Paresh Kumar


The ride to Nimhans, India’s premier health institute, is another of life’s little ironies. The mind-boggling traffic and potholes that promise to snap your spine into two is hardly the kind of bitumen you expect to lead to a hospital that caters to trauma patients. But that’s exactly how it is.
With a Passenger Car Unit of more than 15,000 vehicles, this is among the busiest roads in Bangalore. The influx of vehicles from Double Road and Bannerghatta Road means that even a snail can overtake you during peak traffic hours.
People who travel on this stretch regularly say they allot at least 40 minutes to cover the half-kilometre stretch in front of the hospital.
HOPE COMES AND GOES
The road here is barely 15 metres wide and was marked for the roadwidening project. But that sliver of hope disappeared with the Mayor’s statement of putting the project on hold and BBMP officials say their hands are tied.
“Currently, this is a three-lane, two-way traffic that measures about 14 metres. To ease the traffic, this road needs to be widened by at least another 16 metres,” officials said.
POTHOLES MAKE IT WORSE
The pace of the traffic is not helped by the condition of the road either. Officials in the engineering wing of Nimhans say they have informed the BBMP many times but the result is always a shoddy patchwork. “Of course, we would like to have a decent road coming to our hospital,” says Medical Superintendent V L Satheesh.
BBMP’S PROBLEM
The BBMP says it is helpless. Anantha Swamy, BBMP chief engineer, south zone, attributes the problem to the water line running under the bitumen.
“The leaks here cause the road to sink. We have written to the BWSSB twice already. But for now, we have asked the Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development to patch up the stretch as the tender process will take a long time (since the cost is an estimated Rs 20 lakh) and the need is urgent,” he says.
However, he is quick to point out that this is only a temporary solution and it will be back to square one in a few months. “Unless the water line is shifted, we can’t do anything about the problem,” he says.
Which means the road to Nimhans isn’t going to get less traumatic any time soon.

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