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Half-built bridge hangs over motorists' heads Half-built bridge hangs over motorists' heads

Jan-16-2015 | 0 Comments


BENGALURU: It's a non-descript road but one of the most used gateways linking northeast Bengaluru to Old Madras Road and further to Indiranagar and Old Airport Road. Thousands of motorists from Banaswadi and Hennur take this road every morning to reach their work place but a railway crossing is their biggest hurdle.

A road overbridge that was to eliminate this problem now stands half-built and hangs like a Damocles' sword over motorists' heads. The reason: It must pass through defence land but the Army is yet to give its nod.

This road overbridge was among the 44 much-hyped projects undertaken jointly by the BBMP and South Western Railways in 2013 to minimize the delays and other problems caused by railway level crossings. The work stopped midway more than a year ago. It had to be built over defence land near NGEF Layout and the clearances remained elusive. Motorists now have no choice but to wade through traffic gridlock every day.

Shashank R, a techie who takes this road to reach CMH Road, said, "When the government agencies first started building this bridge, we were relieved thinking it would reduce travel time to Old Madras Road or Indiranagar by about 20 minutes. But then the work slowed down and finally stopped. We are utterly dismayed at the way the railways and the other agencies have built and left it hanging halfway."

Ironically, this road is a shortcut to many residents of Hennur, Kalyannagar and Banaswadi who seek to avoid Shivajinagar on one side and the KR Puram junction on Outer Ring Road on the other side. "I travel through all peaceful streets of Kalyan Nagar and if lucky and the rail gate is not closed on my way, it reduces my travel time by about 20 minutes towards Ulsoor," said Pavithra B, a sales executive from Hennur.

Anil Kumar Agarwal, divisional railway manager, SWR said, "The project is shared between BBMP and SWR in a 50-50 ownership and funding pattern. But we have been waiting for approval for a piece of land from the defence ministry. There have been meetings between the three stakeholders and a letter was written to the defence ministry on this."

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