BMRCL to build subways to ease pedestrian woes

BMRCL to build three underpasses on National Highway 4; gets NHAI nod for the project.

BENGALURU: The increasing number of fatal accidents on National Highway 4 seems to have woken up the government agencies, at last. Following the death of a bike-borne mother-son duo last month near Yeshwantpur- Peenya, the National Highways Authority of India (Karnataka) has responded to BMRCL’s proposal to build pedestrian subways on the national highway.

According to D. Srinivasalu Naidu, Project Director, NHAI (Karnataka), BMRCL has proposed to construct the subways in Peenya, Dasarahalli and Nagasandra. “The BMRCL has proposed to construct the subways outside the Metro stations in these areas. The proposal was first made six months ago, but the final proposal was submitted to us only last month. We immediately approved the proposal and forwarded it to NHAI, Delhi. Following their approval, the BMRCL will begin the construction works,” Naidu said.

Explaining the reasons for the delay in the approval, BMRCL general manager (finance) Vasanth Rao said that the regional office of NHAI had some specifications, following which the final proposal was approved.

He said, “The NHAI (Karnataka) wanted us to expand the width of the underpasses and specified that the width must be six-and-half metres instead of the proposed four metres. While the height will be three metres, the length will be 25 metres long. After reworking on the designs, we have submitted the final proposal.”

Rao maintained that the three underpasses would approximately cost Rs 18 lakh and one underpass will be built at a time. “In about 18 months, all the three underpasses will be operational. We have called for the tenders and as soon as the NHAI, Delhi approves the proposal, works will begin,” he added.

Meanwhile, pedestrians and even Peenya traffic policemen have welcomed the BMRCL’s proposal as these three junctions were the most critical on the national highway.

Peenya traffic police inspector B. Raju, said, “Earlier proposals to build skywalk could not see the day of the light due to lack of space availability. It’s a nightmare for pedestrians to cross the road during peak hours. If the subways become operational, a huge load will be taken off the major junctions on the highway.”

‘Only 58% footpaths in city are pedestrian friendly’

While only 58 per cent of the footpaths in the city are pedstrian friendly, only 9 per cent of intersections in the city have pedestrian crossings, concluded the Street Quality Score 2015 survey results.

The results were announced by Janaagraha, a non-profit organisation. The survey was done to ascertain the quality of footpaths, pedestrian crossings, street lighting, bus stops and air pollution in the city.

The survey also said that 38 per cent of streets are serviced by bus-stops, 51 per cent of streetlights have lux levels, a measure of illuminance, below the safety benchmark of 10 lux, making them unsafe for pedestrians and the air pollution levels in most parts of the city were 50 per cent higher than the permissible limits.

As part of the GIS-based technology survey, major areas, intersections, collector roads over 1,750 km of streets across all the 198 wards were surveyed. Janaagraha members said that the survey results would be useful for MLAs, councillors and BBMP officials in prioritisng projects while drawing up BBMP’s Budget 2016-17.

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( Source : deccan chronicle )
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