Friday, May 14, 2010

Underpass ceiling peels off

Underpass ceiling peels off

Bangalore: After the underpass at Maharani College junction, it’s now the turn of the underpass at K R Circle to pose a threat with its false ceiling.
It’s been at least three days since sections of the false ceiling at the underpass at K R Circle that connects Ambedkar Veedhi and Nrupathunga Road have been peeling off and loosely hanging. As part of its restoration work, the BBMP plans to remove the false ceiling.
“There is no problem with the structure. With height of 4.5 metres, it also has proper vertical clearance — good enough for the 3.3-m tall buses. The damage was caused by a loaded private vehicle. We faced the same problem at the Maharani College junction. It was hit at least five times in close succession,” explained BBMP chief engineer (major roads) T N Chikkarayappa.
Interestingly, till date, these are the only two underpasses in the city to have false ceilings and neither of them have lasted for long. While BBMP blames the luggage-loaded private vehicle, traffic experts in the city are quite bemused by the entire concept of false ceiling.
“Many times such small misfits don’t get any attention until the damage happens. There was no need for false ceiling. Even the underpass here was unnecessary. The beautification at this circle has led to so many complications,” said traffic expert M N Sreehari.
According to him, even the rotary here does not match the technical requirements of merging, weaving and diverging standards prescribed.
A few other experts also raised doubts about the reason behind the ceiling damage. “It’s strange. No goods vehicles or private buses are allowed on the Ambedkar Veedhi stretch and BMTC buses don’t have luggage on top. Further, even if it had happened, the bus would have scraped through, causing a lot of friction and even fire. What about the luggage on top? Such an incident would certainly not have gone unnoticed,” observed another traffic expert, requesting anonymnity.
Using the magic box technology, this underpass at K R Circle was built at a cost of Rs 2.5 crore and inaugurated on June 14, 2009. The aim was to streamline the traffic at this chaotic junction that has a traffic density of 11,000 passenger car unit (pcu)/hour.


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