Thursday, July 27, 2006

ROBs, RUB magnify Cox Town problems

ROBs, RUB magnify Cox Town problems
Deccan Herald

Traffic congestion, accident-prone streets, one-ways, dilapidated pavements... These may sound like the same old problems plaguing Bangalore. But for Cox Town residents, these issues are magnified. The two Road Overbridges (ROB) and one Road Underbridge (RUB) that are still under construction in the area have taken a toll on the living conditions and businesses of residents and shop-owners.

Voicing their grievances before officials at a public hearing organised by Sarvagnanagar Citizens Forum on Wednesday, several residents rued the long detours that motorists are forced to take, thanks to the on-going work on the arterial Wheeler Road.

“This public hearing should have been conducted before the commencement of the works. The flyover work, that was pending for about four years, was abruptly commenced, without any prior notice to the public. Traders on Wheeler Road have lost business to the extent of 60-70 per cent,” said Forum President N Thyagaraju.

Venkatesh, a local shop-owner, appealed to the authorities to at least allow two-wheelers into the blocked Wheeler Road. “The road has become deserted, I want to see customers back on the road again,” he said. Venkatesh, on behalf of other traders, also requested that parking facilities should be made below the ROBs for the convenience of customers.

Meanwhile, Simi D’Souza, a Cox Town resident, said the authorities should put concrete on the existing roads before proceeding with the ROB. “The roads under the Lingarajpuram and Banaswadi flyovers are very badly maintained. We do not want the same situation to repeat here,” she pointed out.

Colonel C John, another resident, said that the one-way routes should be reworked upon.

“Roads have become accident-prone due to one-ways. It is difficult for children and senior citizens to cross the road due to the fast-moving traffic on these one-ways. Also, we have to take long detours to reach a place a few metres away, due to this one-way system,” Col John said.

Authorities react

Representatives of South-Western Railways, BMP, Traffic Police, BWSSB and BMTC, who participated in the hearing, assured that they will conduct spot inspections of the identified areas to review whether residents’ suggestions can be incorporated. The BMP and Railway officials said they have increased the width of the ROB from the initially planned 11 metres to 14 metres.

Bharathinagar MLA Nirmal Surana advised residents to have patience, as “for a better tomorrow, we have to make sacrifices today”. He assured the residents that no buildings will be knocked down because of the road widening and ROB work.


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