Bengaluru's tragedy: The roads not taken

Shorter, cheaper alternative roads that can be built faster are better solutions in many instances.

When in Big Government, think Big Money-spinners. That has been the motto of successive governments. Mega projects like elevated corridors, ring roads, Metro rail are proposed and then trundle along for years in mis-implementation, although shorter, cheaper alternative roads that can be built faster are better solutions in many instances. Shwetha Satyanarayan highlights 10 such alternative link roads that, if developed, can help ease traffic on the arterial roads.

Nearly two years ago, when Siddaramiah announced that some of the major link-roads in Bengaluru would be revamped at the cost of Rs 700 crores, commuters heaved a sigh of relief, while residents at periphery areas were worried that they would lose a major chunk of their property.

“We only focus on core areas, but the condition of link-roads and some major roads too, need a face lift,” the Chief Minister said, speaking about the project.
Also, certain pockets of Bommanahalli, Mahadevapura, Dasarahalli, KR Puram, Rajarajeshwari Nagar, Yeshwantpur, Byatarayanapura, Yelahanka, and parts of Anekal were chosen for road improvement works.

But, 15 months after the announcement, little or no work has taken place with the government going ahead with multi-million projects like East-West, North-South Corridors, Peripheral Ring Roads and Elevated Corridor. While these mega projects are crucial for faster connectivity, essential link-roads, like the Rachenahalli Road near Hebbal and the Hennur Main Road towards the Kempegowda International Airport, could ease the pressure on major roads.
These roads are narrow, neglected and mostly not asphalted. While re-laying of the road will lead to smoother flow of traffic on these roads, observes traffic expert M.N Sreehari.

“It is a good proposal to revamp the link roads but the state government lacks the space to take up any road improvement works. There are commercial and residential buildings in most of the link roads and any move to demolish buildings in order to build roads will be severely castigated. So the government cannot construct new link roads,” he said.

Mr. Sreehari added, “The existing link roads should be stabilised by asphalting, removing parking facilities and evicting those who have illegally encroached upon the road. Also, the government has proposed to lay new roads over drains. Connecting them to link roads could also help in easing congestion.”

Mr. Sreehari has suggested that in all upcoming townships and new layouts, the government must dedicate space for link roads and ensure that traffic is diverted.

Kanakapura Road - 100 Ft Outer Ring Road
Link Roads: Gubbalala, Ittamadu Main Road

It takes nothing less than 45 minutes to hit the Outer Ring Road from Kanakapura Road, while a deviation from Kanakapura Road to Gubbala and later to Ittamadu Main Road cuts short the distance by at least 3 km and saves at least 20 minutes with no signals at all on this stretch! The bigger hurdle, however on this road is the Ittamadu Main Road which is too congested and narrow. Suresh.G, a resident of AGS Layout, says, “It’s a major bottleneck due to the frequent movement of buses. If the road is asphalted and roadside vendors are evicted, the traffic flow could be much smoother.”

Manyata Tech Park to Hebbal, Nagawara
Link Road: Rachenahalli Road

Every day, over 10,000 commuters take the not-so-popular Rachenahalli Road, which is shorter by 6 km and takes at least 30 minutes less to reach Hebbal and Nagawara. While the government wants to widen the Hebbal flyover with additional pillars, locals rue that asphalting the Rachenahalli Road could provide a major breather. “It’s a sludge patch unfit to be called a road. There are no streetlights. Since the Outer Ring Road and Hebbal Main Road are jam-packed during peak hours, the Rachenahalli Road is the only option for us to get home quickly. It’s time the BDA improves the road,” says Anand.T, a techie.

Koramangala- BTM Layout
Link Road: Tavarekere

Though over the years the Tavarekere road has developed by leaps and bounds, the link road between BTM Layout and Kormangala has not been fully developed. Mostly flooded by street vendors after 6.30 pm, the crowds on road hold up the traffic for long durations. Also, the absence of traffic cops during peak hours hampers traffic movement.

Indiranagar – Cox Town
Link Roads: HAL 6th Main

It’s a mere 10-minute drive from Indiranagar to Cox Town and we are not joking! The major link road between the two areas is HAL 6th main road, which connects to the Cox Town Circle. Not only there is no signal on this road, unlike Swami Vivekananda Circle Road, this one is not choked with traffic. The road needs better traffic management.

Indiranagar – Whitefield
Link Road: Old Madras Road

A lesser-known route to reach Whitefield from Indiranagar is nestled among the busy Old Madras Road. Leaving Indiranagar via Defence Colony, CMH Road, Old Madras Road and K.R Puram could take far less time than going via Graphite Junction. Ravi, a cabbie who regularly travels on this route, says, “It saves at least 20 minutes and more importantly has less signals. Since there is not much bumper-to-bumper traffic on this road, it is easier to drive on this route.”

Dr Vishnuvardan Road – Kengeri

A kilometer before the Kengeri signal, taking a left turn could take commuters far beyond Kengeri, onto the Bengaluru-Mysuru Road. On taking this road, a long wait at Kengeri can be given a miss and is particularly helpful when there are long jams on the state highway. The road, which is not widely recognized by name, is a residential area. The problem on this road is, it lacks asphalt, which slows down traffic movement. A properly laid road is the need of the hour, commuters say.

Rajarajeshwari Nagar – Outer Ring Road
Link Road: Veerabadra Nagar

A favourite among locals, this road does not have signals, most of the residents of Rajarajeshwari Nagar, Banashankari III Stage, Girinagar, Avalahalli and Bytarayanapura depend on this road to go to and fro. This road, however, is too narrow and often choked when bigger vehicles converge. The residents of Veerabadra Nagar rue that because the road is not regularly asphalted, they are prone to dust infections.

HSR Layout- Bommanahalli
Link Road: Roopena Agrahara

Close to the fringes of HSR Layout (Sector 7), Somasundarpalya is located. A 15-minute drive from Somasundarapalya via Roopena Agrahara is just enough to reach Bommanahalli. The otherwise long route if one has to go via Central Silk Board, the Roopena Agrahara is a worthy alternate road. The road can highly be useful to especially those coming from Sarjapur Road. Hours of waiting on Outer Ring Road can be skipped if a turn is taken at HSR Layout signal. However, the road is in bad condition during rainy season and is not wide enough for high vehicle population.

Bannerghatta Road- Koramangala
Link Road: S.G. Palya

The road is getting busier by the day and on most of the weekdays, it’s choked with traffic since the S.G. Palya Main Road is too narrow to hold the increasing vehicle population. The road is pothole-ridden, lacks asphalt and is a haven for traffic violators. Proper monitoring of traffic and timely asphalt can give a respite during peak hours.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
Next Story