The underpass on Prof. C.N.R. Rao Road, in front of the BHEL at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc.) junction, has been under construction for over two years with completion a distant dream.
The lack of service roads forces commuters to travel on the gravel-strewn road. “The construction has been on for a long time. It is difficult to drive here because of the uneven rocky surface. There is always the risk to the two-wheeler's tyres. The maintenance cost of my two-wheeler has gone up considerably as I have no option but to use this route,” said Narendra S.N., a regular commuter here.
Business at the IISc. post office located at this junction has taken a hit. Customers are shying away from utilising its services as it is difficult to access it. The dust and pollution only add to the problem. “Our customers complain about the lack of parking space. Our health is also affected due to the constant dust in the air,” said Padma G., postmaster.
The service road from Sir C.V. Raman Road to Malleswaram 18th Cross is narrow, leading to slow-moving traffic, especially during peak hours. “The traffic congestion is tough to handle during peak hours,” conceded a traffic police personnel at the junction.
Pedestrians are forced to weave their way through traffic as there are no footpaths. “People walk on the un-asphalted service roads. The path becomes slushy and walking along it is difficult after a short spell of rain,” Ms. Padma said.
A Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike official blamed the conflict between the project's two contractors — Madhava Hytech and East Coast Constructions and Industries Ltd. (ECCI) — for the inordinate delay in completing the construction. The project was taken up at a cost of Rs. 30.14 crore in January 2010 and was to be completed in September 2011. “However, due to unresolved issues, the work was taken up only in January 2011. Besides levying a fine on Madhava Hytech, the BBMP has now entrusted the work to ECCI entirely.” The official added that the underpass would be completed by September 2012.