Friday, September 24, 2004

In conversation with the new BDA Chief

'Jayadeva Circle flyover will be ready by Dec 14…'
Traffic snarls at busy junctions in peak hours are the bane of Bangaloreans. Flyovers and underpasses are much-needed. M N Vidyashankar shares his plans for civic infrastructure to ease the city's traffic congestion in a chat with the Times of India

What is the status on the Airport Road and Jayadeva Hospital Flyovers?
We had promised the people of Bangalore that we would be opening the Dairy Circle Flyover on September 15, 2004. We kept that promise and completed the work in 41 days time. Credibility is very important for BDA and we just can't afford to dilute our credibility. 29 percent of the flyover work in Dairy Circle was completed in just about 41 days. The underpass work will be completed by November 15, 2004. The Airport Road Flyover is scheduled for completion by March 15, 2005 and Jayadeva Circle Flyover is scheduled for completion by December 14, 2004.

Why do flyovers get delayed? How do you propose to avoid delays?
There is no particular reason for delays in completion of flyovers. In the conventional flyover, civil works take a lot of time depending on the length of the flyover. In addition, this also causes immeasurable inconvenience to the public. Shifting of utilities takes its toll in terms of time and money. To overcome these difficulties, BDA is toying with the idea of mobile flyovers. Mobile flyovers can be erected and opened for public within a matter of a few days and innumerable such examples are there in many European countries.

When do you expect to begin work on the first mo bile flyover and where will it be?
BDA to begin with, intends experimenting with stainless steel flyovers (mobile), currently in vogue in many European countries, on a pilot basis. The matter is before the Technical Advisory Committee and a decision on the first stainless steel (mobile) flyover including its use will be taken very shortly.

Is BDA planning more flyovers? Where?
BDA, with a view to decongest traffic in Bangalore, does intend going ahead with grade separators and flyovers depending on the necessity in any particular junction. In the immediate future, BDA is planning an underpass at MRCR Junction and one at Ramamurthy Nagar junction. The exact number and locations of new flyovers, and the timeframe for completing them is something that will be decided after the Technical Committee takes a decision on the first stainless steel (mobile) flyover.

Any plans to bring in technology that can make underpasses happen faster?
BDA is keeping itself abreast of all the recent developments and technological advancements taking place in the field. Except for mechanising the work of underpasses, there appears to be no other shortcutting to squeezing the time further.

Are you satisfied with the pace at which civic infrastructure such as flyovers and grade separators are coming up?
I am sure everyone will concur with me that the rate at which infrastructure growth is taking place is not in line with the requirements of the time. We in BDA are seriously thinking of bridging this gap and taking up of other projects including the Peripheral Ring Road, to be always ahead of the requirement.

How many flyovers in all do you think we need to solve the City's traffic problems?
It is difficult to estimate the number of flyovers required to tackle the city's traffic problems. We are looking at all the studies undertaken in this regard. We have many of them which provide solutions to the present and future traffic scenarios in the city. BDA will not be found wanting in this regard. We will not only match the aspirations of the people, but also the requirements of the situations in providing world class infrastructure to place Bangalore among the most sought-after metros in the country.


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