Saturday, October 30, 2004

Flyover projects over-fly rules

Rules go for toss in flyover project
Times of India

Bangalore: A flyover should be built only on a four-lane road with a distance of at least 16.6 feet from shops, says the Indian Road Congress, the Bible of all road constructions. But take a stroll down the Hennur Main Road dotted with shops and houses on either sides you will come across a recently constructed crammed road over bridge.

With just 2-3-foot breathing gap between the bridge ramp and the buildings, one could easily jump across to a building terrace from the flyover. Clearly, no rules have gone into the making of this RoB.

This is the second flyover after Richmond Circle flyover that cuts through the row of buildings at a close range. Authorities say they were forced to go against norms to avoid the “full of trouble’’ land acquisition. The project was earlier designed in such a way that 76 buildings had to be demolished for space. But later it was modified to avoid land acquisition hassles.

“Once a project gets into land acquisition mess, it’s difficult to progress. The project will be wrapped under litigations and it will get jinxed. So this RoB was planned in such a way that it required no land acquisition but had to be squeezed on a narrow road,’’ says assistant executive engineer of projects, east division, Hanumanthe Gowda.

Road engineering expert M.N. Sreehari says flyovers must be constructed on wide roads keeping a good distance between all establishments. “In developed countries, flyovers are not built within the city. And of course, they never come up anywhere near buildings. The same questions were raised when the Richmond circle flyover was conceptualised. But the authorities choose to ignore all fundas.’’

The RoB was constructed at a cost of Rs 15.5 crore and the project consultants were RITES and contractor ECCI.

Though the trial runs are smooth, the roads below and at both the ends of the bridge are in a deplorable state. Once asphalting is completed, the railways will ban entry of vehicles near the railway level-crossing by constructing walls on both sides. Hence, to facilitate pedestrian movement, a foot over bridge will also be constructed, according to sources.

Residents and traders in the area had lodged several protests against the RoB construction. They said it would choke the already narrow stretch.

There’s hardly any breathing space between the road overbridge and buildings at Lingarajpuram. Built by the BCC and railways, the project was completed recently.


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