Friday, September 03, 2010

Metro: Minsk Square to be closed for two years

Metro: Minsk Square to be closed for two years
AMIT S. UPADHYE and AMBARISH B.
DC | BENGALURU


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In less than a fort night, a key portion of the city — the arterial Cubbon Road between Minsk Square and BRV Junction — will be closed off. And it will remain shut for the next two years as underground tunneling begins for the Metro. That is not all. Traffic on Queen's Road will be squeezed into one lane while the other lane will be used by construction vehicles for the Metro. The state of the roads after some 700 trucks loaded with underground excavation debris make the run every night is another matter! There's some good news -the traffic police are making elaborate plans to smoothen the way by constructing a steel underpass at Minsk Square in the next three months.
“Construction of the underpass which will allow vehicles to move from Balekundri Circle towards MG Road will begin in the next two weeks. Traffic will be diverted,” said Praveen Sood, additional commissioner of police, (traffic).

The city could be in for more traffic chaos on its roads as the Metro Rail begins to tunnel underground for its stations and tracks. The stretch between BRV junction and Minsk Square on Cubbon Road will be closed for the next 28 months to allow construction of an underground station in this section. Drivers will not be able to use the road in front of HAL till the BRV junction for the next two years, while the work is under progress.
With the Metro project falling behind schedule, both the police and the Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) are trying to ensure there is no more delay by diverting traffic where necessary to allow the work to go on uninterrupted.

As Minsk Square sees heavy traffic most days, the police is trying to make sure enough alternative arrangements are made to avoid chaos on the roads while it is out of bounds to vehicles.

The changes could begin to take shape in the next couple of weeks with the while it goes ahead with work on the underground section at Minsk Square.

Parts of the steel underpass

are already waiting to be laid at the BRV Parade Grounds and its construction could begin in the next fortnight.
"We held a meeting with Metro officials on the traffic diversions required and decided to make the underpass which will take about 90 days to complete. The underground work on the Metro will begin around Minsk Square once it is ready,” says additional commissioner of police, traffic, Praveen Sood.

“Several alternative routes have been planned and advisories will be issued to inform commuters about them. It will be best to avoid Minsk Square and use the diversions for the time being,” he explains. A new road has already come

up in front of the Central Telegraph Office to handle part of the traffic.
But one diversion to allow vehicles to enter Cubbon park from Queen's Road, near the Election Commission building and exit on Ambedkar Veedhi has been stayed by the high court on a petition which claims it is a violation of the Karnataka Parks Preservation Act. But a senior police officer warns that without this road traffic will be hard to manage around Minsk Square while the work on the underground section of the Metro Rail progresses.

With the high court having appointed a special officer to look into the matter the police is hopeful the matter will be sorted out before long.

Work on diverting traffic will start in the next two weeks. A road map for two years has been planned after a meeting with BMRCL officials. It is best to avoid Minsk Square and is best to avoid Minsk Square and use the alternative routes that are being planned.
Taking a right turn to move into Cubbon Park to reach KR Circle has been facilitated over the last few days so that vehicles which move on Minsk Square can reach K R Circle directly.
PRAVEEN SOOD, additional commissioner of police (traffic) The police and BMRCL authorities must ensure that commuters who are affected by the traffic diversions are made aware of the alternate routes.
Bengaluru has not seen an underground excavation of this magnitude and the one which was supposed to begin at Majestic is yet to takeoff.

H.S. SUDHIRA, urban planner Diverting vehicle movement towards Raj Bhavan Road from Cubbon Road and Queen's Road is significant. Creating alternate roads inside Cubbon Park is not feasible at all. Instead, the exist ing one-way traffic can be reversed and some junctions like the one at Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain can be turned into two-ways. Infantry Road, between Coffee Board junction and Income Tax Office junction, have to be reversed and vehicles coming from the city police commissioner's office will either have to take a right turn to Vidhana Veedhi and left turn to Balekundri.

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