Thursday, October 29, 2009

A passage to nowhere

A passage to nowhere
Bangalore: Oct 28, DHNS:

It may very well be history repeating itself. The underpass coming up near Tagore Circle in Basavangudi promises to be another motorists’ nightmare like the one at Cauvery theatre junction. Once ready, commuters will have to negotiate needless twists and turns to reach their destinations.

For commuters coming from National College, it would be nothing short of a circus to enter Bugle Rock Road via MSR Service Station, as also for those travelling from Padmanabhanagar towards BP Wadia Road. The service roads along the underpass do not allow any free right turns and commuters have to negotiate the whole stretch and come back to the point to take a turn.

“People coming from National College will have to go up to the Basavanagudi post office and then take a U-turn to go onto the road in front of MSR Service Station,” said an engineer with the BBMP.

The service roads at Tagore Circle are narrower compared to those at Mekhri Circle. This is one of the many reasons that make the underpass unfeasible.

In 2007, when the project was designed by the H D Kumaraswamy government, the local residents opposed it vehemently and the project did not take off. A Kolkata-based firm STUP Infrastructure was awarded the work then. This time, another Kolkata-based firm Simplex construction company has taken up the work and expects to complete it in two years with an investment of Rs 19.5 crore.

‘Where do we walk?’

Residents fear that the underpass may cost the footpaths on Basavanagudi main road. “With heavy traffic slated to enter B P Wadia Road, to negotiate the right turn, we may see the beautiful trees and the already narrow footpaths disappear in the coming days.
Pedestrians have been completely forgotten,” rued Vikram Simha, resident of Basavanagudi. This apart, the alternative routes which are already narrow will become further congested as people try to enter Gandhi Bazaar and B P Wadia Road.

If beauty of the road which has lush green trees on both sides is one reason for residents to oppose the grade separator, the delays and the absence of any logic behind the very construction is another cause for worry and driving the residents to oppose the project.


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