Thursday, July 27, 2006

Malleswaram underpass may block approach road to hospital

Malleswaram underpass may block approach road to hospital Malleswaram underpass may block approach road to hospital

The Hindu

Work set to begin in three days; Margosa Road will become dead end

BANGALORE: Residents of Malleswaram and surrounding areas are upset over the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike's (BMP) plans to go ahead with the Malleswaram Circle underpass project. The work on the project is set to begin in three days.

Residents fear that the up-ramp of the underpass will block the entrance to the K.C. General Hospital and cause hardship to patients who need immediate medical care.

"The main gate of the hospital will be blocked and if an ambulance has to enter the hospital it will have to take a round-about turn to reach the hospital," K.S.N. Murthy, a member of the Malleswaram Swabhimana Initiative (MSI) said.

Its president Sumathi Rao said after the completion of the project, Margosa Road would become a dead end as the retaining wall of the underpass would block entry to the road. This would divert all traffic to the 4th Main Road, which leads to the narrow railway bridge, she said.

Members of the Malleswaram Swabhimana Initiative, who have been opposing the project, recently met Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, Deputy Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and top BMP officials and expressed their displeasure over the project. "Although Mr. Yediyurappa assured us that the project has been shelved, we are surprised that the BMP is going ahead with it. The officials told us that the underpass has been redesigned. But we still feel this junction does not require an underpass," Ms. Sumathi said.

Another member Venkatesh N, who said the project violated Indian Road Congress norms, said the pedestrian movement at the Malleswaram junction required wider pavements. "But they are planning a 2.5-metre wide pavement, which will be narrow for the movement of over 3,000 pedestrians per hour here," he said. The residents are planning to meet BMP Commissioner K. Jairaj again and request him to reconsider the proposal.


Being built at a cost of Rs. 16.4 crore, the project features a four-lane grade separator from Rajajinagar towards Malleswaram Circle and vice-versa. The project, which will be similar to the Modi Road-West of Chord Road underpass, has been entrusted to East Coast Construction Company of India.

Although the contractors had an 18-month completion deadline, BMP officials are confident of completing it within a year.

Official sources told The Hindu that the original plan has been slightly redesigned to ensure that motorists coming from Margosa Road would have a safe entry into the main carriageway.

"This junction needs an underpass as the passenger car per unit (pcu) has increased from 7,000 in 2003 to 11,000 now," the officials added.

Traffic diversion

The city police have announced diversion in the movement of traffic to facilitate construction of underpass at Malleswaram Circle.

The vehicles coming from Bangalore City Station going to Devaiah Park have to pass through Mill Corner junction, Southend Road and Mahakavi Kuvempu Road.

The two-wheelers and other light motor vehicles going to Bangalore City station and Shivajinagar from Mahakavi Kuvempu Road have to pass through Mohamaddan Block 4th Main Road, Malleswaram 4th Main Road and Coconut Avenue Road.

All the vehicles going from Geetanjali to Malleswaram Circle have to go through Link Road. Buses going to Margosa Road through Maramma Circle have to take Margosa Road 10th Cross junction and Coconut Avenue Road. Those coming from Margosa Road have to turn right near K.C. General Hospital and proceed towards Navarang cinema.


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