Potholes, traffic lights make the stretch dangerous for motorists

Commuters and motorists using the National Highway 7 to the Bengaluru International Airport (BIA) will be forced to bear with the inconvenience for a longer period.

For, the work on the elevated expressway to BIA at Devanahalli from Hebbal has come to an abrupt halt. Though the Rs. 680-crore project should have been completed by April/May 2013 as per the original schedule, it does not appear to be anywhere near completion. Further, the fresh schedule for commissioning the project is yet to be announced.

Launched in September 2010, the project involves construction of a 3.5-km-long expressway between Hebbal and Yelahanka bypass junction, underpasses and flyovers, besides upgrading this stretch of the national highway.

Many reasons

“It was scheduled to be completed by April-May, but several factors have delayed the project. The delay is mainly due to the inability of the concessionaire — Navayuga Engineering — to raise funds. This is because they were not able to collect the toll on time,” said a senior official of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), which is executing the project. The official added that the project had also been delayed due to a court stay order and failure to acquire land at four places, including land near Jakkur aerodrome and Chikkajala police station.

Though the NHAI officials are tight-lipped about the fresh deadline, they indicated that efforts are being made to complete it before the end of the year.

Meanwhile, the expressway and road widening work, which has stalled now, has left the surface of the national highway dangerously uneven with a number of potholes, often resulting in accidents.

Apart from potholes, the traffic signal posts on this route are now bang in the middle of the road due to the road widening work. The Kodigehalli junction, Yelahanka bypass, Kogilu Cross junction and Bagalur Cross junction have all such oddly placed traffic signals, which contribute to traffic bottlenecks.

Albert Legori, a St. Joseph’s College student and a resident of Yelahanka New Town, said: “The road is very dusty and the traffic moves haphazardly. Unexpected traffic jams have become very common.” The fact that the project has not been completed even nearly two years after it was started shows the lousy manner in which it is being executed, he added.

An official at Yelahanka traffic police station told The Hindu the police personnel find themselves overstretched managing traffic here and this strenuous situation will continue till the work is completed.

“The drain between the service road and main road is covered with slabs that are uneven. Police are being unnecessarily blamed for accidents on this road,” the official rued.

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