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Updated: July 23, 2013 08:43 IST

On a wing and a prayer on Magadi Road

Special Correspondent
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Minefield: The Magadi Road stretch between leprosy hospital and Prasanna theatre is a death trap for both motorists and pedestrians. Photo: K. Gopinathan
Minefield: The Magadi Road stretch between leprosy hospital and Prasanna theatre is a death trap for both motorists and pedestrians. Photo: K. Gopinathan

Restoration of this arterial road may take another two months to complete; official blames delay on silt removal

For nearly five months now, the carriageway of Magadi Road between Leprosy Hospital and Prasanna Theatre Junction has been closed partially for repairs. The closure of one of the busiest trunk routes connecting the central business district with west Bangalore has only compounded the woes of the residents and businessmen in the area, who are already suffering owing to poor road condition.

The stretch was in a deplorable state owing to the construction of the viaduct of Reach 2 (Magadi Road to Mysore Road Terminal) of Namma Metro Phase 1. Though the restoration work began in March, it is yet to reach the halfway mark, thus reflecting the lackadaisical approach of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) in executing infrastructure works.

The road has been in a poor state for the past three years. Local residents and regular commuters heaved a sigh of relief when it was partially closed (towards Prasanna Theatre Junction) for restoration. As per the understanding between Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL), the restoration cost is being shared on 50:50 basis. The BMRCL will pay its share of Rs. 4 crore to the BBMP for the restoration.

Businesses hit

Pranesh, a condiment shop employee, said life and business have been bad ever since BMRCL commenced the viaduct work. With the work in progress, many people have stopped using the route, which had adversely affected business. The constant dust had a telling impact on health, he said.

“Complete closure of one of the carriageways has only led to further loss of business. We did not raise our voice as we want the road to be restored at the earliest. However, we are completely devastated by the lethargic attitude of the BBMP in executing the work,” complained Somanna, a grocery shop owner.

The other carriageway from (Prasanna Junction towards Leprosy Hospital), where traffic movement is allowed, is filled with craters. People have to tread long distances to get buses towards Vijayanagar. Only buses towards Majestic and K.R. Market ply on the other carriageway.

The traffic police conceded that it has been herculean task to manage the traffic. Due to the partial closure of the road, all vehicles towards Vijayanagar have to take the Vatal Nagaraj Road (Rajajinagar 6th Block). This has led to choking of the road from Rajajinagar Entrance till Prasanna Theatre Junction.

A senior BBMP official said intermittent rains had delayed the work, as had the hurdles in shifting the utilities and traffic diversion. “Silt has to be removed from the shoulder drains. This has further delayed the execution of work. With fair weather the work can be completed in two months,” he said.

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