Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Salvation of this stretch: when will it happen?

Salvation of this stretch: when will it happen?
The Times of India

Bangalore: It is a road that leads to the city’s virtual gold mine — Sarjapur Road — but the way leads like a dilapidated slum. The 6-km stretch that starts from Koramangala Indoor Stadium has been virtually untouched by civic authorities for almost a decade now.

Huge potholes mar the surface, only half the road per se is motorable, there is no system of demarcated drains and the entire stretch is one filthy mess. And when it rains, because of the absence of unclogged stormwater drains, the road is inundated like a river, complain residents.

The road plays host to a dozen software companies and houses some apartments besides some shopping complexes. BWSSB had dug up huge craters for underground drainage pipes under the National River Conservation Project. Says Akash Simha, an engineer whose office is located opposite the National Games Village: “When there was this huge dug-up pit with steel girders jutting out dangerously, we had to encircle it, travel for a kilometre before taking a U-turn just to get to the other side of the road.’’

Rs 7 cr on 6 km:

Respite, though late, might just arrive if civic authorities get their act together. “Under a World Bank funded project, this stretch would get a massive facelift, of an unprecedented sort,” say BCC officials. Of the 139-km long stretch of roads across Bangalore that have been selected for the project, this stretch alone will see an investment of Rs 7 crore.

The project entails development of not only roads but includes infrastructure overhaul like widening the road to fourlane, upgrading sidewalks, pavements, streetlights and junctions. “Tenders have been received for implementing the project. We have persuaded contractors to take up the work in 10 days,’’ say BCC sources.

But why is the project, which is cleared by the WB months ago, taking so much time implement?

Explains a BCC infrastructure in-charge, “As per World Bank norms, the top surface has to survive for 10 years and so it took us a really long time to fix a good contractor and the project details had to be pucca.’’


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