Monday, March 31, 2008

Magic box underpasses too narrow

Magic box underpasses too narrow
While readers urged BBMP to ensure that the underpasses planned to be constructed on new airport road route are technically sound and accommodate traffic volume, a former city MLA suggested the Palike to see to it that these underpasses are useful for at least the next 50 years.

Debate gains pace

Suggestions continued to pour in from readers and experts as a response to the Deccan Herald initiative “Concrete Solution? ”

While readers urged BBMP to ensure that the underpasses planned to be constructed on new airport road route are technically sound and accommodate traffic volume, a former city MLA suggested the Palike to see to it that these underpasses are useful for at least the next 50 years. A former BBMP Chief Engineer, welcoming the Palike’s initiative, asked it to fix responsibility and get the work done.

It’s been just over a month Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike threw its ‘innovative’ underpass near Cauvery theatre junction open for vehicle flow. It is already witnessing traffic jams: Traffic from Sadashivanagar (from Bhashyam Circle) is getting clogged at the mouth of the underpass, especially during peak hours.

Autorickshaws, two-wheelers and BMTC busses jostle to pass through the underpass. So much so that BBMP was forced to put up a road hump (produced from South Korea) to check vehicle speed and to prevent accidents. The big question here is: What would be the scene in coming days as the number of vehicles increase? “The present traffic between Bhashyam Circle and the Cauvery theatre junction is 5,500 passenger car per unit (PCU). And it’s going to grow in coming days. It will definitely turn into a major traffic bottleneck in coming days,” a traffic expert, who is part of the BBMP technical advisory team, noted.

For the existing traffic volume on this stretch, the width of the box should have been 7.5 metres and there should have been two lanes for the underpass. No where in the world such a small box is used. A 4.5 metre width box is used for pedestrian underpass. The underpass is too steep, which again contributes to slow traffic. If in case a bus breaks down below the underpass, the entire traffic comes to a standstill, fear experts.

“There is very slow movement of traffic at the entrance, as the width of the box is small (4.4 metres). So our buses are moving slowly,” BMTC Divisional Traffic Engineer Chandapur said.

Now that the BBMP has proposed to replicate the model at 44 “critical” junctions across the City in 2008-09 and much more in future, experts say, “The BBMP refuses to learn from its experiences. Though City planners have been suggesting implementation of long-term solution, it is doing just the opposite.”


BBMP’s initiative in this regard is good. It wants to ease traffic problem by using the new pre-cast technology. But there should be proper planning and these underpasses should serve for at least next 50 years. Bangalore roads are chaotic now because town planners failed to plan the infrastructure projects properly in the past. We must learn from the experiences. Same mistakes should not be repeated now. Hence, long term planning is most important. If not, the project will fail to serve the purpose. I have seen Cauvery theatre junction underpass. The box is very narrow. It should have been bigger. The concern is what would happen when the volume of traffic increases. BBMP should have a strong technical team to plan these underpasses.

Narendra Babu, Ex-MLA

Readers’ Remark

BBMP’s initiative in taking up construction of underpasses to ease traffic problem is good. But it all depends how the projects are designed and implemented. If Cauvery junction underpass is anything to go by, it’s too narrow. It should have been two-lane underpass where two vehicles can move pass through easily at a time. Moreover, already there is problem for vehicles to take U-turn over the underpass. When the new airport starts functioning, it’s sure going to be a traffic bottleneck.

BBMP should learn from its experiences. It has planned five more underpasses on the same route. It should ensure that the underpass are big enough to accommodate the traffic towards the new airport. Unless the width of underpasses are wide, BBMP’s efforts will not only go waste but be a big nuisance in future.

N S Mukunda, President of
Citizens Action Forum

I appreciate BBMP for its efforts to ease traffic problem by taking up construction of fast-track underpasses. But it should also ensure they are technically sound. There are two aspects that need to be looked at the Cauvery theatre junction underpass.

First, the width of the box. Due to narrow box, traffic gets slow and congested during peak hours. If there is traffic congestion and slow movement, then what purpose the underpass is serving?

Second, the strength of the box. Though nothing untoward has happened so far, is the box strong enough to withstand the pressure of vehicles that pass over it? The question arises in the wake of a recent incident of earth near the underpass caving in. And the traffic on the route is going to grow considerably once the new airport starts functioning. I hope the box would not collapse due to vehicle pressure. These are two serious questions that BBMP should look into. Otherwise, the technology being used is good and it will definitely be a boon to Bangaloreans who are suffering day in and day out due to traffic problem.

M R Shirazi, Wing Commander (retd) Vice President of Dedicated Servants of India Society


It is heartening to note that BBMP has opened its arms to embrace new technologies. This magic box is a breakthrough technology compared to the conventional ones.

Imagine how much the citizens of Malleswaram, Vijayanagar and people living around these areas have been suffering for the past two years and more due to no fault of theirs but due to the shortsighted attitude of the officials who have planned the underpasses in these areas, without bothering about the problems of the citizens.
Though the promised 3 days has taken 35 days for completion of the ‘Magic Box’ near Cauvery junction, the fact remains that the conventional technology could have made us to suffer for 2 years and more. Is it not a relief that we could get it in 35 days. Such works require cohesive team for implementation, unified goal between different organisations involved and mutually supportive team spirit among them. The team management should anticipate all the problems including unforeseen and be in the readiness to tackle any untoward situation of any magnitude on a war footing. There must be accountability fixed on the teams involved in such works along with a reward for success. If this is ensured, it may not be difficult to accomplish such projects within the anticipated time frame. The delay has been unnecessarily attributed to BBMP whereas the mistake is made by someone else.

Let us cheer the BBMP Commissioner and his team members who are trying new technologies. I wish they not only continue the same spirit but also try many more new modern technologies and bring early succour to the city which is suffering from multiple problems in the fields of traffic, parking and pedestrian safety.
To restore the previous glory to this city, BBMP should not hesitate to take up major surgeries and stop applying temporary measures as was done in the past.

H Rajasimha,
Former Chief Engineer


At Thursday, July 23, 2009 at 1:50:00 PM GMT+5:30, Blogger Unknown said...

Mr Rajasimha,
Former Chief Engineer,
Greater Bangalore Municipal Corporation(BBMP),

Respected sir,

I am Jayachandar from Banasawadi,Bangalore. I am working as a software Engineer, am the son-in-law of Mr B.Janardhan former Labour and employment Minister from Andhra Pradesh Government.
I have seen an article in EENADU Newspaper, karnataka edition around 20days back regarding the construction of PRECAST RC HOUSES. I would like to interact with you regarding these consturuction techniques and methods.
So Kindly provide me yourcontact details.

I am looking foward your kind reply sir.

Thanking you sir,

With Regards,
Jayachandar VS


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