Sunday, October 28, 2007

Are the civic authorities listening?

Are the civic authorities listening?

Two years ago, I conducted a survey on what caused flooding in Bangalore. I travelled on the Intermediate Ring Road (IRR) connecting Koramangala and Indiranagar on a rainy day and found that with just about 45 minutes of rain, the newly built road had got flooded. A revelation was that important roads like Brigade Road, Commercial Street and Cubbon Road did not have a single rainwater outlet to drain out water from the road. And MG Road had just one rainwater outlet between Kumble Circle and Brigade Road junction. So, where does the rainwater flow?
It naturally flows down to the lowlying areas or gets stagnated on the road. It is common knowledge that water stagnation corrodes the roads resulting in numerous potholes, even on newly laid roads.
Then, why does the BBMP ignore the reason for repeated flooding that causes damage to property, results in diseases and accidents? A system must be put in place to ensure that water does not accumulate on roads. Another challenge is the inferior quality of construction and bad road engineering, which have deprived Bangalore of good infrastructure. Shoulder-drains with metal grills along the roads, for every 40 ft to 50 ft, will prevent clogging and waterlogging.
Pedestrian sidewalks — an important aspect of traffic planning — is still not a priority. On Ulsoor Road, road topping and sidewalk pavements were laid at a cost exceeding Rs 1 crore. But the sidewalk was built of concrete with no expansion joints. A case of bad engineering, which will only ‘buckle up’ the concrete, resulting in cracks and uneven walking surfaces (causing tripping).
This, eventually, cuts down the life span of the pavement. The sidewalks are often at different levels as private properties create slopes to reach their basement parking or surface parking levels. Few people realise that sidewalks are essentially public property, and hence cannot be altered at the whim and fancy of private building owners.

George K Kuruvila, Architect / Urban Planner


Post a Comment

<< Home