A long stretch of Old Madras Road here has become a commuter's nightmare ever since the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) dug up parts of it to re-lay a water pipeline.
Although weeks have passed since a new water pipeline was laid, the excavated portions are yet to be asphalted. The stretch gives motorists as well as pedestrians using the stretch a harrowing time.
All that the BWSSB has done after completing the repair work is dump mud in the dug up areas. This temporary solution has done little to make the road usable with the rain only compounding the problems of commuters. Apart from Old Madras Road, stretches of Swami Vivekananda Road and Murphy Road too have been dug up for re-laying pipes.
For two-wheeler riders, it is a precarious balancing act. On the one hand they have to negotiate the pot-holes and on the other they have to avoid collision with heavy vehicles. “Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation buses and private vehicles ply on this road. We have to compete with them to use fragments of motorable road,” said Sandesh Shetty, who takes the road from C.V. Raman Nagar to go to his office in Fraser Town.
For motorists like him, the service road skirting the BMTC depot is as a lifeline.
The less said about bus commuters' misery the better. For them, it has become routine to risk a long leap or a muddy step or two to board the bus at the stop in front of the depot. As S. Ramani, a government employee puts it, they are left with no option other than stepping into the slush as the dense traffic does not allow them to wait on the road.
Not that those in buses are any better. “I left my car at home today and took the bus. My heart was in my mouth as the bus heaved its way over the mounds of earth. I was afraid it would topple over,” said Ramakrishna K., who is now wondering whether sitting in a car amidst a traffic jam is a better option.
Ordeal to continue
This ordeal on Old Madras Road is likely to continue for two more weeks. A BWSSB official said the Karnataka Land Army Corporation will asphalt the road as soon as the water repair works, including final touches such as commissioning of new lines and rectification of leaks, are dealt with. He blamed the delay on the rain.