BBMP stalls repairs as SC Road turns into a dustbowl ride

Condition of the road towards the Rajiv Gandhi Circle

Bangalore, Sept 27, 2017: Bangaloreans will continue to experience a bumpy-dusty ride on Subedar Chatram (SC) Road as Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) stalls its road repair project for over a month.

N. S. Narasimha Sastry, Executive Engineer (Project Central), BBMP said that they had recently upgraded the stormwater pipes which took around seven months to be completed. He added that relaying the road has been stalled due to a number of factors including untimely monsoons.

Businesses in the area have suffered as a consequence. Sharan, manager of a local hotel said that number of guests staying at his hotel have dropped significantly as the road in front of his establishment is completely in ruins. He said that most of the residents have been forced to wear masks due to the dust pollution which is a result of the untarred broken stretch of road.

K.T. Nagaraj, Chief Engineer (Road Infrastructure), BBMP said that the road repair of SC Road is not a lone project, but part of a bigger infrastructural development package which the BBMP has planned in parts of the city.

Devaraj, Assistant Engineer (Road Infrastructure), BBMP said that about two kilometres of the road from K.G. Circle to Rajiv Gandhi Circle will be white-topped in the third phase of the TenderSure Roads project. He added that it will be beneficial for SC Road as TenderSure roads are planned in a way which requires major utilities like storm water drains, electricity lines to be relocated below the pavement so that frequent road cutting is not required at all.

Both he and Mr. Sastry confirmed that the rest of the SC Road won’t be included in the third phase of the TenderSure project and will be re-laid using regular asphalt. Mr. Devaraj added that the planned white topping of the SC Road and its adjacent roads in the third phase will take maximum 24 months.

Meanwhile, road-users continue to feel the pain. Nagesh, a marketing executive who regularly uses the road to his workplace said even walking on the road is difficult especially without a mask due to the constant dust blowing. He said he only hopes things get fixed soon enough.

Babu, an auto rickshaw driver complained that the condition gets worse during the rains when the entire stretch floods and it gets difficult to drive without getting into the many potholes. He said the problem of flooding has not been resolved till now–given the fact BBMP has completed the stormwater pipe upgradation.

Urban Planner Anirban Chaudhury said that road upgradation projects in parts of old and congested roads of Bangalore like the SC Road, can very well change the character of traffic in the city. However, he said that efficient implementation must be the government’s goal in the future.

Even though Mr. Nagaraj confirmed that work on the third phase has not begun at all.Mr. Sastry said that the part of the SC Road towards Rajiv Gandhi Circle which was dug up for the storm water upgradation project will be re-laid using normal asphalt for now. He added that this blacktopping is not a part of the TenderSure project.

Both Mr. Sastry and Dinesh Gundu Rao, the local MLA said that they expect the black topping to begin once the monsoon season ends. However, they refused to give a completion deadline.

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