Monday, September 29, 2008

Subway magic created in 24 hrs

Subway magic created in 24 hrs
BBMP Makes Up For Underpass Gaffe
Aarthi R | TNN

Bangalore: No noise or publicity. But this 3.6 mtr x 3.6 mtr magic subway for pedestrians, opposite the Hebbal police station, was laid in a record 24-hour operation that started on Friday morning. While BBMP shying away from publicity — following their ‘magic box’ underpass experience — can be expected, what’s interesting is that the operation on a busy road with more than 1.35 lakh vehicles plying everyday was completed without much diversion or complaints.
What did it take to create the magic this time? Nearly 100 workers, eight trucks, six lorries, two cranes and two earth-movers were part of this silent day-long operation that began as early as 5.30 am on Friday and ended by 6 am on Saturday.
The silent success story has surprised many. “When I left for work by this road at 10 am on Friday, all I saw was a diversion board. I left expecting a few months of regular inconvenience. Surprisingly, on my return at 10 pm, I found most of the work completed’’ said Chandru, who lives nearby.
Even cable work by BSNL, that was stated as a six-day operation, was completed by 10 am on Sunday — yet another 24-hour operation on field. Being the first of eight such pedestrian subways planned for the city, the project at Hebbal cost Rs 40 lakh. “With the available technology, we can build such magic subways in just two days, but a lot of this depends on feasibility of the land. This place had just the BSNL cables interfering. There are places where drains and waterways may cause delays,’’ BBMP chief engineer (roads) K S Krishna Reddy said, adding that laying magic subways will soon be routine activity.
More than 70% of the work on this subway is complete. What remains is building a ramp into it on either end, that will take another 15 days. With the festive days in between, there might be a few ‘no-work’ days.
According to BBMP commissioner S Subramanya, all the magic subways planned will follow a similar hassle-free procedure with not much obstruction to people or traffic. Five such subways are being planned at Basaveshwara Circle alone. “The attempt is to insulate pedestrians and cyclists from vehicular traffic,’’ he said. The palike is also looking at having subways around Vidhana Soudha and at High Grounds.
Earlier in the year, BBMP’s announcement of completing its magic-box underpasses in 72 hours was met with sarcasm. After initial enthusiasm, the civic agency found water lines running at the spot — Cauvery Junction on Bellary Road — the relocation of which needed more than 15 days. The 72-hour deadline got extended to 45 days! This time, they did not want to make much noise over its magic subway and quietly completed the work. Way to go BBMP!


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