Friday, September 26, 2008

No relief on St John’s Rd

No relief on St John’s Rd
How long does it take to fix a drain? Prolonged work on St John’s Road has ruined the stretch

Bangalore: Once surrounded by theatres and now by piles of debris. Standing at Shree Circle on St John’s Road and looking at stagnant development is an unnerving experience. It’s high time this high-density traffic zone got some relief.
The bridge that collapsed here six months ago sparked some development initiatives but these hit stagnation once it was reconstructed. There’s been no work for over a month on the open drain below the bridge and the conditions are appalling. Rocky roads flanked by piled-up debris, pipes and concrete blocks are all that welcome you here. People and traffic have been suffering heavily due to this apathy.
BBMP embarked on desilting of the drain, reconstruction of the retention wall and building the bridge after the bridge collapsed. A woman was washed away in this drain during the monsoon after which the authorities took up the work.
The huge, deep pit dug outside the Shree Complex is one month old. “Stagnant and stinking with drainwater littered with plastic, bottles and bent or broken pipes — you need to hold your nose when passing by. But now, we are getting used to it,” says an employee at the complex.
Alongside, the disconnected and half-laid retention wall of the drain and the pile of debris make a ride through this area a traumatic experience. A few residents living nearby are fearful of sending their kids alone on cycles lest they slip and fall into the drain.
Traffic is worst hit on weekends and on Monday morning. And less said the better about rainy days. Travelling amid the slush, drains and blocked traffic is rather routine. The shops in this area have also been suffering. “We have a tough time keeping the dust off the medicines,” complain workers at a pharmacy. About 15 days ago, Manjushree Hospital in this area complained about the abysmal conditions to MLA Roshan Baig. But this too didn’t bring any relief.
According to BBMP officials, the agency which was awarded the project contract stopped work midway due to the rain. “Work will be resumed after the festival as there is a shortage of workers till then,’’ officials said.

This yawning crater on St John’s Road is a deathtrap


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