Sunday, May 09, 2004

What was the ring road built for?

Normally, ring roads are built to keep heavy traffic out of the city and allow you to traverse across the city without having to wade through it. And they don't have numerous intersections and are characterised by exits and flyovers so that traffic can ply uninterrupted. But like all things even ring roads have been customized for India. Given the plethora of constructions ranging from malls and multiplexes to apartments and corporate campuses that are coming up off the outer ring road, particularly alongside the Hosur Road - Airport Road stretch, I wonder if the Outer Ring Road (ORR) was built only to drive up property prices in those parts of town. Soon all kinds of sundry constructions will crop up. Private property developers have acquired huge tracts of agricultural land and are constructing gargantuan housing complexes. All these are approachable only through narrow mud roads. With the town planning authorities playing no part in these developments what happens, if and when these get filled with 5000 people each and 1000 cars all trying to maneuver these narrow lanes? Who will build the interior roads, pavements, storm-water drains etc? Already, the service road in front of the Innovative Multiplex is being used for parking! This ring road is choc-a-block with city traffic trying to fight for road space with the inter-state juggernauts. And the construction is just starting. A year down the lane, the ORR is going to resemble any overcrowded city road. Thankfully, Jayakar Jerome and his team at the BDA are thinking about a peripheral ring road already. But do our town planning authorities even know the fundamentals of town planning?


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