Sunday, September 30, 2007

This road stretch in Bangalore is certainly not a delight for motorists

This road stretch in Bangalore is certainly not a delight for motorists

Afshan Yasmeen

Koramangala 1st Main Road is a ‘veritable paddy field’, says a resident

— Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.

Pathetic: The poorly maintained 1st Main Road in Koramangala 1st Block, in Bangalore.

BANGALORE: A “kuchcha” road with several dug-up stretches. Potholes all around making it slushy even after a slight drizzle.

An accident zone and a motorist’s nightmare. If you think we are describing the features of a road in one of the newly added areas, you are wrong.

This is the state of the 1st Main Road in the upmarket Koramangala 1st Block.

Motorists dread using this road, which connects Koramangala 80-foot Road to Jakkasandra.

Three persons have been seriously injured after their vehicles skid while manoeuvring a pothole on the road in the past few months.

Though residents of this area have been demanding for several years that the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) asphalt the road, nothing has been done except for covering it with a layer of gravel.

After The Hindu reported the residents’ grievance in its ‘Public Eye’ series a few months ago, the BBMP started work on upgrading pavements on the road.

“But that too was left half-completed. When we asked the BBMP engineers, they said that the Karnataka Land Army Corporation (KLAC), which has been given the contract, has delayed work,” Ram Murthi, general secretary of Koramangala Civic Group, said.

Fed up with not being able to get the road repaired even after repeated complaints, the residents even tried getting it done through the influence of the former BMP Commissioner K. Jothiramalingam’s wife two years ago.

“But when that too did not work, we again wrote to his successor K. Jairaj in November last and he promised us that the work would be completed soon,” Mr. Ram Murthi said.

With most vehicles avoiding this road, there is a heavy flow of traffic on the 2nd Main Road, causing inconvenience to the residents there.

“I even complained to the traffic police twice about the heavy traffic on our road and they blame the BBMP for not upgrading the 1st Main Road. It is disgraceful that in a so called ‘elite’ area, the state of roads is worse than those in a village,” Ingrid Everall, a resident of 2nd Main, said.

K.N. Nanjappa, a resident of the 1st Main, termed the road as a “veritable paddy field.”

“There are so many dug-up stretches here that we can sow paddy. There is dust and dirt all around us. The situation has worsened after the recent rain making it impossible for us to step out of our houses,” he said.

While the jurisdictional BBMP officials blamed the KLAC for delay in work, the KLAC engineers cited fund crunch. “The BBMP is yet to approve the estimates for the roadwork. We cannot take up work unless the BBMP pays us,” a top KLAC official, who did not want to be quoted, said.

BBMP Chief Engineer (Major Roads) K. S. Krishna Reddy told The Hindu that the civic body had not delayed payments to the KLAC.


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