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Underpass forever under construction

Halley Nongmaithem
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Past deadline: The ongoing construction of the underpass at Tagore Circle is an inconvenience that Basavanagudi residents cannot shake off. — Photo: Varsha Yeshwant Kumar
Past deadline: The ongoing construction of the underpass at Tagore Circle is an inconvenience that Basavanagudi residents cannot shake off. — Photo: Varsha Yeshwant Kumar

Sailing without a rudder would be an apt metaphor for a ride through the perpetually under-construction Tagore Circle Underpass in Basavanagudi.

Its construction, which began in October 2009 with a guarantee from the BBMP that it would be completed within 12 months, is still a large crater exactly two years on. And commuters travelling this route have just about had enough.

Near the school

The principal of the school, located adjacent to the construction site, said the school has lost four of their classrooms and a playground as a result of this underpass construction.

She complained of the “heavy traffic” and blocked roads.

Not only is she finding trouble taking a changed bus route, she says she also worries about the safety of her students and has to constantly keep an “eagle's eye” on them with barbed wires hanging out around the deep crater at the underpass site.

‘Unbearable'

A resident of an apartment complex here, 23-year-old Chetana B. Jain, says that the traffic jams and the resultant noise pollution, especially during festivals such as the recently concluded Ganesh Chaturthi, is unbearable.

For counsellor Savitha G., travelling to her place of work at the Tagore Circle area used to take 30 minutes from her home in Vijayanagar. Now with traffic diversions and one-ways, it takes more than an hour. Besides traffic jams, the waste material piled up due to the construction is causing serious hazards, especially for senior citizens, say residents.

Promises aplenty

According to another resident N.A. Shanbhag, the local corporator, along with the former Mayor, had held a meeting with the residents of the area about a year ago and assured them that the underpass would be completed soon.

At the present pace of construction, it looks like it will certainly take another two to three years.

Halley Nongmaithem

Traffic jams and the noise pollution is unbearable, says a resident