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Updated: December 2, 2010 11:14 IST

In a fortnight, metro work could choke central Bangalore

ANIL KUMAR SASTRY
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Sign Boards announcing traffic diversion ahead of the actual closure have already come up in all places surrounding Vidhana Soudha, including the one near Balekundri Circle on Queen's Road, in Bangalore on December 01, 2010. The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd., is all set to close the Ambedkar Veedhi in phased manner to facilitate construction of Vidhana Soudha Underground Metro Station. Photo K. Murali Kumar.
The Hindu Sign Boards announcing traffic diversion ahead of the actual closure have already come up in all places surrounding Vidhana Soudha, including the one near Balekundri Circle on Queen's Road, in Bangalore on December 01, 2010. The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd., is all set to close the Ambedkar Veedhi in phased manner to facilitate construction of Vidhana Soudha Underground Metro Station. Photo K. Murali Kumar.

Soon, several arterial roads in central Bangalore are likely to be partially or completely closed for traffic to facilitate the underground work of Namma Metro.

As early as in a fortnight, motorists passing through Ambedkar Veedhi, Queen's Road, Cubbon Road and Raj Bhavan Road can expect their commute to gobble up a lot of time with the police planning to close them to facilitate the construction of underground Metro stations at Central College, Vidhana Soudha and Minsk Square.

Visitors to the Vidhana Soudha and the High Court are bound to suffer a similar fate.

Squeezed to half

One carriageway of the Ambedkar Veedhi — from Gopala Gowda Circle towards Police Thimmaiah Circle — will be closed in a fortnight and the vehicles will have to take the alternative route in front of the Vidhana Soudha, which is half the width. Another carriageway in the opposite direction will also be closed a month later, after Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) constructs the alternative road on the lawns of the High Court.

The Ambedkar Veedhi sees about 14,000 passenger car units (PCUs) per hour during peak hours, according to traffic police records. Also this road, flanked by the Vidhana Soudha and High Court, witnesses some 60,000 footfalls every day.

Traffic diversion

With work on the Vidhana Soudha Underground Station about to commence, BMRCL and the traffic police have come up with elaborate plans. To begin with, the police have already banned heavy vehicles on Old Post Office Road to facilitate construction of Central College Underground Station. BMRCL Spokesperson B.L. Yashavanth Chavan told The Hindu work has begun at the college premises.

Playing by the ear

The traffic police have a strategy to not suddenly upset the existing traffic pattern, said Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic and Security) Praveen Sood. A partial closure of Ambedkar Veedhi will follow the partial closure of Old Post Office Road. This will be followed by the complete closure of Ambedkar Veedhi between Gopala Gowda Circle and Old KGID Building.

“We will study the change in traffic pattern before going ahead with the next phase. Even though we offer several alternative roads, motorists will find their own way. Metro work will not commence at all the places at once,” he said.

The next move will be to open the alternative road in front Press Club to reroute traffic once the Minsk Square is partially closed, by which time Cubbon Road will completely be closed between HAL Corporate Office and BRV Grounds.

The closure of Minsk Square will also entail the opening of the road in front of Bal Bhavan to allow traffic from M.G. Road towards K.R. Circle and Vidhana Soudha.

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