December 7, 2013
SHARATH S. SRIVATSA
Koramangala residents wondering why expert opinion about pitfalls is being ignored
The decision of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to go ahead with its Rs. 100 crore integrated underpass project to ensure a signal-free corridor covering four junctions on Hosur Road has incensed Koramangala residents.
The busy corridor connects industrial areas in Jigani, Anekal, Bommasandra and Electronics City. A large number of inter-State buses heading to destinations in Tamil Nadu and Kerala ply on this road, which is an extension of National Highway 7.
Waiting for nodThe civic body has completed the tender process and is preparing to seek the State government’s approval. But residents complain that the project is being executed without consulting the public or taking into account the opinion of experts. They fear untold misery to residents as well as road users in future. They point to the findings of the Kaushik Mukherjee-led committee.
The proposed integrated underpass project will connect Adugodi, Koramangala 20 Main, T. Marigowda and Sarjapura junctions. Residents claim the project is “myopic” and could aggravate the traffic chaos. They point out that planners are not taking into account the Kaushik Mukherjee-led committee’s recommendations.
If the integrated underpass comes up, residents expect traffic to increase and choke at the Madiwala underpass.
“The current Chief Secretary Mr. Mukherjee (then Additional Chief Secretary) had suggested increasing the height of the Madiwala underpass and widening the service road to improve traffic movement. However, the tender does not consider these suggestions,” Nitin Seshadri, member of Koramangala Infrastructure Task Force (KITF), told The Hindu.
Secondly, residents fear that the integrated underpass will make it difficult for ambulances to access St. John’s Hospital. Also, there are several big, commercial establishments on the slip (service) road. The thousands of people who throng these every day could choke the integrated underpass and slip road, they fear.
As an alternative to the underpass, KITF submitted the design for a flyover, prepared by an independent consultant.
The flyover is meant to connect Adugodi junction to Silk Board junction and will include multiple entry and exit ramps.
A senior BBMP official said that the concept is good, but not cost-effective. “Normally, the cost of a flyover is five times that of an underpass.”
No proper approvalA senior BBMP official said that the civic body’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) had approved designs for 50 underpasses in 2009-2010, but The Hindu learnt that separate approval for the integrated underpass was not sought before the tendering process.
An official said that underpasses for 50 junctions were cleared by the TAC as part of 11 signal-free corridor projects.
Later, the four underpasses on Hosur Road were clubbed together and tenders invited, the official added.
Allaying fears of residents, the official said that the integrated underpass will be wide enough to handle the quantum of traffic seen on Hosur Road and is designed to handle water flow even during heavy rains. “The tender process is over and evaluation has been completed. We are in the process of sending the file to the State government for approval,” the official said.
The official said that civic officials would send the Mukherjee Committee’s report along with the file and let the government decide the future course of action
December 6, 2013
Santosh Sonawane, TNN
NASHIK: The construction work of the underpass at Vilholi is likely to start within a month as the work on the service road on either side of the highway has already begun.
An PNG Tollways official said that the work of the underpass will begin in a month’s time after completion of work on the service roads. As of now, the work of shifting electrical poles on the highway has commenced. The construction company said that work of the underpass has been approved by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) head office and is likely to be completed in the next six months.
There was a rising demand for the underpass to be constructed ever since the road from Gonde to Pimpalgaon was widened by the NHAI. Once the work of the service road is completed, the construction of the underpass will begin. The highway traffic will then be redirected to the service roads. Villagers said that an underpass was necessary ever since the highway was converted into four lanes. Villagers find it extremely difficult to cross the entire stretch of the four-laned because of the speed of the commuting vehicles.
Police constable Anil Dhumse of the Nashik Taluka police station who is posted at Vilholi said, “Petty accidents happen almost on a regular basis. Villagers cross the four-lane highway looking onto one side of the road. In some cases, cars and trucks have run off the road and turned turtle in a bid to save someone crossing the road. In March, a young girl was killed while she was crossing the road. The underpass will be of great help to motorists as well as pedestrians in crossing the highway.”
On March 20, an 18-year-old girl Sonal Gaikwad was crushed to death after a speeding car hit her near Vilholi. Sonal, a resident of the Sangharsh Nagar slum by the highway was crossing the road to get drinking water on the other side of the highway when the incident occurred.Nashik :
The much awaited work of the underpass at Vilholi is likely to get underway within a month as the work of the service road on either side of the highway has been taken up.
Officials of PNG Tollways said that the actual work of the underpass will get underway within a month’s time after the completion service roads. As of now the work of shifting the electrical poles has been taken up on the highway. The construction company said that the work of the underpass has already been approved by the head office of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and is likely to be wrapped up within the next six months.
There was a rising demand of the underpass ever since the road widening between Gonde to Pimpalgaon was taken up by NHAI, given the villages on either side of the highway at Vilholi. Once the work of the service road is over the traffic on the highway will be shifted on the service road to take the work of the underpass. Villagers said that the need of the underpass was always felt ever since the highway was converted into four lanes. Villagers, but mostly the elderly people find it extremely difficult to cross the entire stretch of the four-laned highway and are not able to gauge the speed of the vehicles.
Incidentally, on March 20, an 18-year-old girl Sonal Gaikwad was crushed to death by a speeding car near Vilholi. Resident of the Sangharsh Nagar slum by the highway, near Vilholi, Sonal Bhaurao Gaikwad was on her regular course to get drinking water on the other side of the highway when she was hit by the speeding car.