It takes great driving skills and some luck to get from one end of Suranjandas Road to the other. Entering the road — either from the HAL Airport end or the Old Madras Road end — is in itself a test of patience.
Driving in from the Old Madras Road junction, the first jolt is a part of the road that has sunk a few feet near the BWSSB pumping station. This little depression is camouflaged quite beautifully because it is from this point onwards that the road has no lighting.
Just when you regain your balance, the road narrows down quite suddenly as it passes along the compound wall of the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE). Concentrate hard as you negotiate this stretch; if you don’t fall off the edge, an oncoming vehicle might just push you off.
The BBMP had announced way back in July 2011 that it would widen this stretch. While the widening work has gone nowhere, the machinery and men deployed for the job have ensured that the road is now narrower than it was to start with. What’s worse is that the road in front of the ADE has been elevated by a few feet and there is no runoff area. So, if you miscalculate slightly you are off the road and into a three-foot-deep ditch. Vehicles lying wasted on in the ditch has been a common sight for at least a year.
Barring the odd bone-jarring pothole, the next stretch until you reach BEML Gate-Thippasandra Junction is quite peaceful. But the road at this junction can compete with lunar craters. The heavy trucks coming in and out of the BEML factory have ensured that no amount of repair can permanently smoothen this road.
Actually, here’s where the worst part of the journey begins. Now that it is raining almost every day, the stretch from BEML gate to the HAL Aerospace Division is a swimming pool with knee-deep water. When the water drains out, it’s all dust and debris. On the stretch from Jivan Bima Nagar junction to the HAL Airport junction a person with good eyesight can spot a few patches of tarmac. This is by far the worst part of the road.
BBMP officials from the Department of Major Roads conceded that there was a delay in completing the road widening. An official attributed this to the delay in the shifting of utilities by the other civic agencies, including Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) and Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom).
“After the road is widened, it will be white-topped. The concrete road will be long lasting and can bear the load of the increasing volume of traffic. The widening and white-topping of the road will be completed in another four months,”the official added. The local MLA and BBMP Councillor Sumitra Vijaykumar refused to respond.