Friday, November 30, 2007

Wow! Three days, seven underpasses

Wow! Three days, seven underpasses
Friday November 30 2007 03:39 IST

Basavaraj Itnal
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A simple but innovative technology adopted by Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is going to revolutionise the creation of underpasses across city roads.

The innovation had been tried by Palike at a test site on the premises of Indian Institute of Veterinary Research on Hebbal Road. Further, the same technology was used by BBMP two years ago during construction of underpass on Wind Tunnel road.

Palike has now proposed seven underpasses on Hebbal road to create a signal free corridor till Hebbal Flyover - all in three days. On Thursday, the high level task force on infrastructure inspected the test site and approved the projects to be exectuted and commissioned latest by Republic Day - much ahead of scheduled inauguration of Bangalore International Airport.


Palike has proposed underpasses at KR Circle, Maharani College junction, Windsor Manor junction, BDA junction, Cauvery junction, Sanjayanagar junction and CBI junction on Bellary road. The seven junctions would have underpasses to divert traffic from cross roads (except KR circle and Maharani college) to Bellary road and thus avoid traffic halt at signals. The total cost of all projects is about Rs 18 crore and except for KR Circle project, they would be finished in three days.


Task Force chairman and additional chief secretary Neerja Rajkumar said that the technology called ‘Segmented Element Technology’ uses precast box elements which are ‘assembled’ on site. Conventionally the underpasses are constructed by cutting open the ground and then casting retaining walls and slabs.

However, the pre-cast boxes make things easier as they can be cast on mass scale elsewhere and brought to the site only to be assembled. It is much cheaper than conventional methods. By conventional methods, the seven underpasses would have cost about Rs 100 crore - more than five times they would do now.

Palike engineer-in-chief AK Gopalaswamy told this paper that Palike first used the technology two years ago on underpass near Wind Tunnel road. The technology is developed by L Ram Prakash of Rohini Constructions.


Principal secretary to Urban Development Department K Jothiramalingam said that government prefers to disturb traffic for three days at a go for all underpasses instead of troubling the motorist for every project.

"We will take up all underpasses on Bellary road simultaneously and complete them in three days," he said.


Palike commissioner S Subramanya said that more such underpasses would be taken up at Kodigehalli junction, Hudson Circle, Ravindra Kalakshetra and Minsk Square.

The Task Force comprises principal secretaries to Finance, PWD, Urban Development department, Infrastructure, commissioners of Police, BMRDA, BDA, BBMP, MDs of KUIDFC, KSIIDC, BMTC, BMRCL, representatives from CII, FKCCI, BCIC, KASSIA and CEO of BIAL. Director of Urban Land Transport, TA Parthasarathy, is convenor-member.


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