‘It is a nightmare to commute on this stretch’

With Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) launching work to develop Cunningham Road, citizens who frequent the stretch are a troubled lot. Take for instance the case of Vivek B., a private company employee. He says he tries to avoid taking Cunningham Road these days as one side of the stretch has been dug up. According to him, now there is very little space left for vehicles to pass by while there is no space at all for parking or for pedestrians to use the stretch. BBMP is developing Cunningham Road under the Tender SURE (Specification for Urban Road Execution) project. The plan is to upgrade to road to international standards with levelled footpaths and underground utility ducts. Chennai-based NAPC Ltd.began work some time in March and it is expected to be completed in four months.

However, citizens who use the road regularly and entrepreneurs who have their business establishments located on the road are complaining. They say that there is neither space for pedestrians to walk nor for people to park their vehicles, their business has been affected.

Mehraj Uddin, who owns a handicrafts showroom, lamented that BBMP did not keep business establishments in the loop before taking up the work. “Right now, I am not directly affected. But I am dreading the day they start digging up the other side of the road, which is right outside my shop,” he said.

Eateries that dot one side of the road have also been affected. Imran Ahmed, who works in a restaurant on the road, said that as there is a drastic fall in the number of customers visiting the restaurant because of dug up road, less quantity of food is prepared. As drains and ducts have been left open, there is vermin problem also.

“Last week, we had to spend a lot on fumigation. This has added to our losses,” he said.

Due to the ongoing work, there is little space left for vehicular movement. A motorist said that vehicles jostle for space. “There are manholes on the left side of the road. On the right side, we have to avoid deep craters. It is a nightmare to commute on the road when there is heavy traffic,” he added.

BBMP officials conceded that work has been progressing at a snail’s pace with only 10 per cent of the work completed till date.

“We faced hurdles with regard to shifting of utilities. We did not expect to find so many cables. This has slowed down work. Once ducts for the utilities and cables are ready, it will not take much time to complete the work,” an official said.

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