Friday, November 30, 2007

City roads to wear new look soon

City roads to wear new look soon
The BBMP has plans to upgrade and widen city roads. Prathima Nandakumar reports

The road map to a global city seems to be emerging. Bangalore that winds through a road network of 7,000 km is simply not designed to take all the traffic load of 30 lakh vehicles. The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner S Subramanya, has the responsibility of providing the city with good roads, free of potholes, craters and water-logging in the monsoon, and has set an agenda. An allocation of Rs 220 crores for resurfacing and pothole-filling of arterial roads within the old BMP areas and some main roads in the newly-added areas of Greater Bangalore has been made.
The challenge also lies in garnering funds for the Herculean task as the BBMP's revenue has remained seriously deficient. "Resurfacing of roads has to be done at least once in three years. The cost involved to resurface one km is Rs 30 lakhs, which translates to around Rs 800 crores every year. But we spend just Rs 50 crores because a majority of capital investments goes for new roads. Since we don't have this kind of money, resurfacing is done once in five years", explains Subramanya.
Traffic is a major reason for disruption of life in Bangalore, believes the Commissioner, who is now chalking out plans for road intersection management. "We are widening 10 arterial roads at a cost of Rs 100 crores, building grade separators and road-over-bridges, for which Rs 130 crores has been sanctioned, planning an elevated, inner core road in central Bangalore, planning to convert a few arterial roads into six-laned roads and constructing elevated roads over storm water drains".
The first phase will see an allocation of Rs 50 crores for resurfacing arterial roads, Rs 40 crores for other main roads and Rs 250 crores for laying roads in the newlyadded areas. With monsoon receding, the BBMP has taken up filling up of potholes on all major roads.
The engineering division of the BBMP has identified about 29,140 potholes and 3,928 road cuttings across the eight zones. The tenders were issued on the basis of the number of potholes in each division and the estimated cost for the exercise is Rs 10 crores. Some of the roads that have or will get rid of potholes are 18th Cross Malleswaram, Rajajinagar Road, Nagarabhavi Main Road, Banaswadi Road, Kingston Road, Jayamahal Main Road, K H Road, and some other main roads.
A major boost to the road network in the city is the inclusion of 85 arterial roads for road widening in the Master Plan. The BBMP is now promoting the Transferable Development Rights scheme for government and private property owners, whose lands have been identified for acquisition for development projects.
As of now, the BBMP has started widening the existing 30-metre-wide Bellary Road to 45 metres, and increase the width of Race Course Road from 19 to 30 metres. These roads are expected to be ready by March 2008.
The BBMP had set a target of widening eight roads this year, and is starting work on Palace Road, Seshadri Road and Kasturba Road. Apart from Bellary Road, Hosur Road, and Nrupathunga Road are other roads that will be widened on priority.
Even as the BBMP is finally set to widen the roads mapped in the first phase, it is treading carefully. It needs to put in place systems for better co-ordination with various service agencies like BWSSB, Bescom, BSNL and private service providers for shifting of utilities, strike a green balance to retain or translocate trees along the project alignment and pushing the TDR scheme forward.
Progress report
Work on Bellary Road and Race Course Road begins Topographical survey completed for 30 roads
Road alignment for 12 roads has been approved DPRs for six roads completed
Major roads identified for widening
Bellary Road: From Hebbal Flyover to Minsk square Race Course Road: Ananda Rao Circle to Basaveswara Circle Palace Road: Mysore Bank Circle to High Grounds Police Station Kasturba Road: Siddalingaiah Circle to Queens Statue Circle Seshadri Road: Central Jail Cross to K R Circle Hosur Road: Central Silk Board to Yenkay Factory Bellary Road: Hebbal Flyover to Minsk square


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