As for the public, things are so bad they endure a two-hour, 7-km crawl

Three years after the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) decided to widen the arterial Mysore Road, the glacial pace of work has made life a nightmare for pedestrians and commuters. Furious road-users, joined in by an equally irate traffic, are wondering how far the civic authority's apathy will test their patience.

On Thursday, city-bound traffic moved bumper to bumper throughout the 5-km stretch between the Nayandahalli Junction and Sirsi Circle flyover thanks to random dumping of debris on the road between Hosa Guddadahalli and the flyover. The haphazard dumping of debris has reduced the width of carriageways from two lanes each to just one lane each in both directions.

Rajinder Singh, who had left his Rajarajeshwarinagar home at 8.30 a.m. to his workplace in the central business district, had reached only the MCTC Bus Terminal (Bapujinagar), 6 km away, at 10 a.m. On Wednesday, Shabbeer Ahmed Khan, who came from Mysore, took over two hours to reach Millers' Road from BHEL Junction on Mysore Road, a distance of about 7 km.

M. Shantharam, who regularly rides his two-wheeler on Mysore Road, said: “We have been tolerating this for the past three years in the hope of getting a good road, [which now looks like] a mirage. The palike is completely insensitive to our plight. We have to be doubly cautious whenever there is rain so that we don't fall into any trench or ditch.”

Renuka Kumari, a garment factory worker who lives in Hosa Guddadahalli off Mysore Road, said she and hundreds like her who take the bus and have to walk part of the way homeward are constantly jittery about moving vehicles as there is no footpath. “There are no streetlights right from Sirsi Circle till Kimco Junction; it's misery for us,” she said.

Gajendra Kumar, another regular user of Mysore Road, criticised what he termed as the contractor's callousness. “Workers dig up the road either to remove a tree stump or a utility cable and leave the excavation open for days together. Similarly, debris is dumped on the carriageway while constructing shoulder drains.”

‘Worst road'

A senior traffic police official described Mysore Road as the worst in the city in terms of its unspeakable condition as well as traffic management. The police saw no reasonable grounds for the delay in completing the project. Repeated letters to the palike to hasten the pace of work have had little impact, he said.

The officer confessed to having another problem on his hands: not many police constables are willing to be posted on duty on Mysore Road, right from Sirsi Circle till the Nayandahalli junction.

Another official said: “We're fed up with BBMP engineers who we feel are not accountable either to the civic body or the public. We have written time and again to complete the widening work at the earliest while maintaining the existing road in a motorable condition. Over the last one week, it has worsened with multiple trenches between Bapujinagar and Sirsi Circle. Traffic has become chaotic.”

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