Saturday, June 27, 2009

It’s a nightmare for motorists

It’s a nightmare for motorists

M.T. Shiva Kumar and Deepika Arwind
Incomplete underpass near Maharani’s College has aggravated problems
— Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.

Tough to negotiate: The area near K.R. Circle in Bangalore has become frustrating for motorists.
BANGALORE: The arterial underpass at Kantharaj Urs Junction near Maharani’s College and the yield junction at K.R. Circle which were supposed to offer “signal-free and police-free” movement for vehicles, have instead become frustrating for motorists.

The partially complete underpass was thrown open for motorists on June 13. Since then, vehicles come to a grinding halt near K.R. Circle and Maharani’s Women’s Science College on Palace Road during peak hours.

The Rs. 10-crore project was intended to reduce traffic congestion in and around Seshadri Road and K.R. Circle. But the incomplete project appears to have aggravated the problem. Bangalore city traffic police officials complained that the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had not taken steps to complete the project within the scheduled time. Moreover, the BBMP has not installed blinkers and signboards to help motorists navigate, they say.

“Due to the slow pace of work, the project is causing congestion every day,” said an Assistant Commissioner of Police (Traffic), who did not wish to be named.

Vehicles from SBM Junction on Palace Road going towards K.R. Circle on Seshadri Road earlier had to cross the underpass and take a ‘U’ turn in front of the Technical Education Department building and return to Seshadri Road by taking a free left turn. Now, that has been changed. Buses move on the right-side service road of the underpass and join Seshadri Road (towards K.R. Circle) in front of the Agriculture Department building.

“All this is confusing motorists,” said Shivappayya Kambalimath, a State government employee who has been travelling through K.R. Circle for the last eight years.

According to him, before the underpass project began, it took him 15 minutes to reach Vidhana Soudha from Ananda Rao Circle. Now it takes 25 minutes.

“Such projects are often touted as symbols of development. But nobody knows when this underpass will be completed. The BBMP doesn’t understand the hardships of motorists,” said Pratima Kothari, an advocate and a resident of Banashankari.

BBMP response
“The speed limit within the city is 30 kmph. If motorists stick to this, there will be no confusion. Within 15 days the BBMP will install permanent signboards and blinkers,” BBMP Chief Engineer (Major Roads) Chikkarayappa told The Hindu.

The project will be completed by the end of October. We have finished nearly 80 per cent of the work, said another BBMP official. He said the re-laying of asphalt is the real reason for the delay.

“If we had done asphalting and signage work in the past month, rains would have damaged it. A detailed traffic signage plan for the junction is being prepared at a cost of Rs. 8 lakh,” he said.


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