Wednesday, June 29, 2005

BMP leaves debris on busy road

BMP leaves debris on busy road

The Hindu

It has not removed the rubble after razing a portion of the old jail compound

BANGALORE: Motorists from the western parts of the city have been braving traffic delays at the work sites of the Rajajinagar grade separator and the Anand Rao Circle flyover for the past year. Now, debris dumped on Gandhinagar 1st Main Road near Kanakadasa Circle has become another obstruction.

The debris has not been dumped by any private contractor, as is the usual complaint. This time around, the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) itself is the "culprit."

A portion of the old central jail compound adjacent to the petrol bunk at Kanakadasa Circle was demolished by the BMP over a fortnight ago. After razing the wall, the BMP authorities have not removed the rubble.

Motorists who have to cross Gandhinagar 1st Main Road from Sheshadri Road to reach K.G. Road have been put to hardship because of this obstacle. This road, which was wide enough for two-way traffic, with a median in between, has now become unusable. Debris dumped on the left side of the median has blocked the road, and the other side has been converted into a two-way resulting in haphazard traffic.

Motorists are often stranded here, as it is inevitable for vehicles proceeding from Seshadri Road to K.G. Road and those from Palace Road to Seshadri Road to pass through the Gandhinagar 1st Main Road. "There is chaos here as there are always traffic snarls. But we cannot do anything as the BMP authorities themselves demolished the wall," Mahbub Pasha, who runs a puncture repair shop near the jail compound wall, said.

"The stretch of the road, which is blocked, is used as a car park now. It is difficult to control traffic during peak hours as the road, used as a two-lane stretch now, is too narrow with two-wheelers parked on one side," a police constable manning traffic at Kanakadasa Circle said.

When contacted, a senior official from the BMP's Central Projects Division said the compound wall was razed because it had developed cracks. "There is a huge transformer adjoining the compound wall on the Palace Road. Officials from the Bangalore Electricity Power Supply Company (BESCOM) requested us to demolish the wall, as they feared it would collapse on the transformer. The debris will be cleared soon," he said.

When pointed out that the debris could have been dumped within the old central jail premises, where the BMP has proposed to develop a `Freedom Park' at a cost of Rs. 7.5 crores, the official said: "The old jail area is now being used by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) as a `casting yard' for the Anand Rao Circle flyover. We did not want to disturb their work."

Though tenders for developing the `Freedom Park' have been invited, the BMP is waiting for a final nod from the State Government to start work, he added.


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