Commuters were in for real fright on Friday night as the Sumanahalli flyover, one of the city's newest, caved in, causing chaos all around. Nobody was hurt... this time. The city's flyovers are in pathetic condition and despite being a danger to human lives, have received little attention from authorities. from potholes to powercuts, waterlogging to toxic lakes, Bengaluru is crumbling. With little transparency in the administrative processes and few safeguards against faulty work, people risk their lives amidst crumbling infrastructure, while errant officials, who are the cause of the trouble, face no consequences for their actions, reports Aknisree Karthik.
Mention traffic trouble in the city and the authorities have a pat solution : flyovers. Although experts have often warned that they solve little, these monstrosities continue to be built in Bengaluru at huge cost using taxpayers’ money. While potholes are commonly seen on some of them now, people of West Bengaluru had a scare as a portion of the Sumanhalli flyover, a more recent construction than others, caved in late Friday night, throwing traffic into chaos. While fortunately, no one was hurt in the incident, can the authorities guarantee the safety of commuters on other flyovers of the city?
Take the BEL Circle flyover, which people have for long complained is damaged, but has received little attention from the authorities.
Others driving on the Domlur flyover, which links the core city to the Outer Ring Road, say they have a long a bumpy ride, as the vehicles seem to jump when moving from one joint to another on it.
“If the Sumanahalli flyover cave-in was the result of accumulation of rainwater over a long period of time, as is being suggested, the authorities have reason to worry as there are other flyovers too that see similar stagnation of water in rain. One of the first and longest flyovers of Namma Bengaluru, the Sirsi Circle flyover, sees waterlogging every time it rains,” says Mr Ram Kumar, a regular commuter, warning that if this goes on it could weaken it.
The Byranahalli flyover, which is not more than four –years- old, has already started to wear out. Commuters say its concrete is wearing thin, exposing the beams inside, but there is no move as yet to repair it .
The Hebbal flyover, which is used by thousands of vehicles heading for the Kempegowda International Airport, was also in the news last year as a video of a cracked portion went viral.
The Carmerlam flyover on the outskirts of the city too needs attention, according to the locals, who complain that it is uneven and in poor condition.
And visit Basavangudi and you see a strange sight as the National College flyover has a Peepal tree growing out of it, clear evidence of its poor maintenance.
But ask BBMP officials why the city’s flyovers have been neglected for years and they are quick to defend the civic agency, which they claim has reserved Rs 5 crore to do a thorough audit of the flyovers and underpasses in the city. “Tenders will be shortly called to select the agency to carry out the work,” they assure....