Commuters use underconstruction bridge over nullah

October 7, 2013

Niraj Chinchkhede, TNN

AURANGABAD: With blatant disregard to safety – and civic discipline – commuters have started using an under-construction bridge over a nullah on the crucial road between Shahnoormiyan Dargah and Peer Bazaar Road in the city, just a month after the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) laid a concrete slab over the stretch.Traffic movement has started on the bridge even before the civic body could put a layer of asphalt on the stretch and set up the bridge’s railings. The AMC had initiated the bridge’s work in March 2013 at an investment of Rs 56 lakh and had promised to complete the project within six months. Civic authorities are now saying that it will take 40-50 days to complete the work.An AMC engineer supervising the bridge’s construction said that the route was blocked off, but locals broke the barricades and started using the bridge, impatient at the delay. He said that the AMC has not yet completed work on the stretch. “We are yet to lay asphalt on the road. Moreover, work of the drainage line, streetlights and pavement are also pending. The civic body has not officially opened the road for traffic,” he said.The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) and the Indian Railways are jointly building a railway overbridge about 500 meters from the bridge on Shahnoormiyan Dargah-Peer Bazaar Road. Work of the ROB, which was supposed to be completed by September 2013, is still going on, adding to the commuting woes of locals.

Local corporator Girijaram Halnor justified the traffic flow, stating that the closed route was causing “serious inconvenience” to citizens. “This is one of the busiest roads in the area that connects two markets. Because of the ongoing construction of the Sangram Nagar railway bridge, the traffic burden on the Shahnoormiyan Dargah-Peer Bazaar Road has increased. We cannot block the road for long,” Halnor told TOI on Sunday.

Halnor argued that the flow of traffic would “settle down the soil layer” on the newly-constructed bridge. “The festive season has already begun and the number of commuters on the road has gone up. We cannot restrict commuters during this season,” Halnor said.

Aurangabad assistant commissioner of police (traffic) S B Chaugule said that it was the AMC’s responsibility to block traffic movement on the under-construction bridge.

“The municipal body has not informed that traffic police department about the completion of the bridge. Thus, it is not supposed to let commuters use it. During the construction period, the municipal authorities should see that the road is being blocked,” Chaugule said.

Footbridges lying unused, but KMC plans nine more

September 24, 2013

Saikat Ray & Krishnendu Bandyopadhyay, TNN |

KOLKATA: A spurt in traffic volume has made crossing city roads riskier than ever. Foot over bridges are there at various intersections, but pedestrians prefer to hit the roads instead of giving that extra effort and climb the stairs. That, however, hasn’t deterred the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) to plan more footbridges. In fact, it is planning to join hands with private agencies to build nine more over bridges in the city. Each bridge will have four escalators to encourage more pedestrians to use them. However, suggestions of elevators for the aged and people with disabilities have been turned down by the civic authorities.

On Monday, Atin Ghosh, member, mayor-in-council overseeing the KMC engineering department, and senior officials held a meeting with representatives of four city-based hoarding agencies who have responded to the ‘expression of interest’. “Each foot over bridge will cost Rs 4.5 crore. We will sign a build-operate-transfer agreement with these agencies for a period of 30 years. They will invest in the project and in lieu, enjoy advertising rights for 30 years,” Ghosh said.

However, the question that lies ahead is whether these footbridges will find any takers among the pedestrians. A TOI survey revealed that the footbridges that dot various spots of the city at present have been largely unutilized. Despite boasting of an elevator and escalator, the foot over bridge near Bijon Setu across Rashbehari Avenue had very few pedestrians. Even during peak hours, less than 5% of people use the footbridge compared to those who cross the surface road. The situation isn’t any different elsewhere in the city.

Of the 11 footbridges that have come up in the city and its periphery, barely five were in use. These include five the ones in Ultadanga, Golaghata, Lake Town, Gariahat and Dhakuria. The rest lie deserted, with a couple of them even encroached by drug addicts.

Traffic engineers blame wrong site selection for the under -utilization of foot over bridges. Chief traffic and transportation engineer Ajay Das said, “Unless there is a continuous median divider, it is very difficult to make pedestrians use a footbridge. People will tend to cross the road along the surface road as it would be faster and easier than taking a footbridge.”

According to a traffic and transport planner, the footbridges right on road intersections are bound to fail, because there cannot be a median divider.

The three-point crossing of Ekdalia Road, Radhakumud Mukherjee Sarani and Rashbehari Avenue is a proof of this. Due to the absence of a continuous median divider, pedestrians merrily take the surface road. “While a child takes the escalator, the mother insists on taking the surface road. If we intervene, she asks us not to bother her,” said a traffic constable.

Some of the nine footbridges that KMC has planned may meet the same fate. While the footbridge near the Gariahat flyover is likely to be a success because pedestrian access across the road is restricted, the one on Rashbehari Avenue and Sarat Bose Road crossing is likely to fail. On Monday afternoon, the TOI team found madness at this intersection. People waved down cars midway to cross the roads while others strolled along the road. Even mothers with children in their laps walked with ease on these roads. Moulali and Mallickbazar crossings painted a similar picture.

But the civic top brass is undeterred. “We have taken note of this problem and planned four ramps to cover four corners. This will encourage the pedestrians to use the footbridge,” said Ghosh.

‘Speed up Vandalur bus terminus work’

September 19, 2013

By Express News Service – CHENNAI


State Housing and Urban Development Minister R Vaithilingam has urged the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) officials to speed up the Vandalur Mofussil Bus Terminus work, which was announced by Chief Minister at the Assembly.

The Minister interacted with the CMDA officials on the development schemes implemented by the authority, here on Wednesday.

The officials explained the Minister about the various schemes implemented by CMDA, including the Koyambedu food grain complex, additional two-wheeler parking facilities at the CMBT, storm water drainage work at the flower market in Koyambedu, a container terminus at Manjambakkam and the land acquisition process for the Outer Ring Road Project.

Vaithilingam also advised the officials to complete all the works within the stipulated time.

He further said that all the land records which were acquired by the CMDA for various schemes, should be transfered to the CMDA’s name.

Urging the officials to speed up the Vandalur mofussil bus terminus work, he also told them to intensify the land acquisition work at Vandalaur along with the work on the proposed container terminals at Karunagaraseri and Annambedu.

Thanga Kaliyaperumal, Secretary to Government, Housing and Urban Development Department, and vice-chairman of CMDA, R Venkatesan, member-secretary of CMDA, were among the officials who took part in the meeting.


Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation bags ‘The Best City Pavilion Award’

June 17, 2013

Bhavika Jain, TNN |

MUMBAI: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has bagged ‘The Best City Pavilion Award’ at 11th Municipalika International Exhibition held in Delhi.

The civic body had set up a stall in the exhibition, at which details about BMC’s projects were given.

According to the civic officials, information about health, education, water supply, environment, hospitals, solid waste management, roads and other projects was exhibited in the stall.

The exhibition received tremendous admiration from the other civic bodies who had participated in the same competition.

The BMC has set up its kiosks with posters and digital photos of the various successful schemes undertaken by the civic body. A live model of rain water harvesting, powerpoint presentations of the new technologies being used by the BMC were also given at the kiosks as a part of information exchange.


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