K.R. Market is one of the busiest parts of the city. As the city's epicentre, it throngs with thousands of traders and farmers coming to sell their wares. Yet, there is little infrastructure for the citizens, right from public toilets to pedestrian underpasses/subways.
For the past six years, the construction of the pedestrian underpass at K.R. Market has dragged on. Of the four wings, three are ready. The remaining — K.R. Market to Apsara theatre (opposite Hotel Taj) — is still a long way off. Though not officially opened, people use the underpass wings that connect Vani Vilas Hospital, Jumma Masjid (near Chandra Bhavan) and K.R. Market.
Syed Sajjad, a resident of Kalasipalya, said he uses the underpass regularly. “It is a boon as thousands visit the K.R. Market area every day. However, one wing is yet to be opened. No one knows why the construction is being delayed.”
Another resident, Abdul Jabbar, suspected corruption.
Three years late
Dharmaraya temple councillor P. Dhanraj told The Hindu the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) took up the construction at a cost of Rs. 6 crore in September 2006, and was to have completed it early 2009.
“A major bottleneck was the delay in the shifting of the sanitary line by the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB). The BWSSB gave an inflated estimate of Rs. 1.92 crore, when it should have been Rs. 64 lakh,” he said.
Left with no other alternative, the BBMP deposited Rs. 1.92 crore with the BWSSB. The contractor, Maruthi Constructions, was also to be blamed for the inordinate delay. “This included shifting of the line and restoration of the road. However, the BWSSB officials have failed to restore the stretch between Jumma Masjid and Bamboo Bazaar,” he added.
BBMP officials claim the construction would be complete by February-end. “Only the final link needs to be completed. For this, the traffic in front of Jumma Masjid (towards Hotel Taj) needs to be diverted. We have already requested the traffic police regarding the same,” an official said.
The pre-cast elements are all ready. “We just need to cut the road, place the pre-cast elements and align them. The work should be completed in a month.”