Sunday, January 24, 2010

Rs 800 cr to save 7 minutes

Rs 800 cr to save 7 minutes
By: Madhusudan Maney Date: 2010-01-22 Place: Bangalore

Before elevated expressway to Electronics city opens today, MiD DAY does a reality check; finds It takes 15 mins to get from one end of E-way to the other. It takes 22 mins On the older road

As India's longest, signal-free elevated expressway was a buzz of eleventh-hour activity for today's opening by Union Surface Transport Minister Kamal Nath, MiD DAY decided to do a reality check yesterday to determine the usefulness of the Rs 800 crore project.

Yes, the 9.5-km elevated high-speed road from Bommanahalli to the IT district of Electronics City will save the commuting techie some time compared to the regular road that runs below it, it was found.

The elevated expressway from Bommanahalli to Electronics City promises a signal-free drive.

But the time saved is just seven minutes during rush hour. Even if you run into particularly heavy traffic besides finding the lights against you at the couple of places on the lower road to have a signal, you still end up only about 10 minutes behind somebody who takes the elevated expressway.

The time test was done keeping to a safe maximum speed of 80 km per hour on the as-yet traffic-free expressway, while on the regular, ground-level road, the speed kept varying as it was dictated by the peak-hour traffic.

Starting the clock from the Hosur Road end of the elevated expressway at 5.13 pm and maintaining the car at 80 kmph for the most part, the exceptions being curves where some slowing down was called for, the Bommanahalli end was reached at 5.28 pm.

The hop took had taken exactly 15 minutes, end to end.

Taking a U-turn from there on to the busy ground-level road, the travel time up to the point where the elevated road ends in Electronics City was measured keeping to a speed that was comfortable in the rush hour traffic.

Traffic constable Muralidhar S, who is likely to be on duty at the expressway when it opens in the evening today, thinks people will be able to save 10 minutes and traffic fatigue by taking the elevated high-speed road.

It took from 5.55 pm, when the U-turn was taken, to 6.17 pm to reach Electronics City, a total travel time of 22 minutes on the lower road.

Now, that works out to a saving of only seven minutes on the elevated expressway, while the spendings amount to Rs 800 crore.

Muralidhar S, a traffic constable attached to the Madiwala police station, said, "This elevated expressway will save time to travel to Electronics City from Bommanahalli.

Now people can reach in less than 20 minutes on the expressway. Normally, when people take the ground road, it takes about half-an-hour.

The expressway will help people who want to reach Electronics City without getting caught in traffic."

Opening day eve sketches
At the entrance of the elevated expressway at Bommannahalli yesterday, preparations for today's opening were still not complete late into the evening.

Roadwork like painting the median, attending to the electrical works and cleaning the expressway was on in full swing.

There were also men dressing up the spot for the inauguration by putting up banners and arranging flowerpots, among other things.

The electronic media was busy at work too, capturing images of the expressway.

At the end of the first phase of Electronics City, people were busy installing computers in the cabins at the toll gate.

Here, too, the roads were getting cleaned, median lines were being painted, cabling and fixing of display boards was on.

A computer engineer busy fixing the machines said, "We are working hard to complete the work on time. Hope we will complete it.

As the inauguration is happening tomorrow, we have to get it done come what may."

At the Hosur Road end of the expressway, civil work was still getting finishing touches.

Here, the systems were yet to be installed in the toll collection cabins.

Vital Statistics
Length: 9.5 km
Total cost: About Rs 800 crore
Travel time: 15 minutes (at average speed of 60 kmph)
Toll fee: Rs 10 for two-wheelers, one way (Rs 20 for multiple journeys). Rs 30 for cars, one way (Rs 45 for multiple journeys).
Who will benefit most? Techies going to Electronics City.
How check on speeding will be kept? There are surveillance cameras at a few points.


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