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Kasturba Road needs some Gandhigiri

Staff Reporter
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Potholes, loose gravel and road widening imperil both motorists and pedestrians

DIVIDERS DIVIDED:Dividers are supposed to help streamline traffic. But on Kasturba Road, they are so skewed they could contribute to accidents.— Photo: K. Gopinathan
DIVIDERS DIVIDED:Dividers are supposed to help streamline traffic. But on Kasturba Road, they are so skewed they could contribute to accidents.— Photo: K. Gopinathan

Kasturba Road, one of the city’s arterial thoroughfares, is in a deplorable condition thanks to the carpet of potholes after this month’s heavy rain and the ongoing road-widening project taken up by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). The road stresses out motorists and pedestrians alike. The latter often risk their lives, as the footpaths are uneven and nonexistent in some stretches.

“There is no footpath and we are forced to walk on the road. With the heavy volume of traffic, we are always in danger of being run over by vehicles. Wherever the footpaths exits, they are uneven and some slabs are missing,” Guru Basavaraj, who is visiting the city from Bellary, pointed out.

J. Naveen, who works in a car showroom, said walking on the road was more difficult at night, given the poor street lighting.

Motorists also complained about this aspect. “It is difficult to ride at night, especially since we cannot see the potholes and construction material dumped by the side of the road,” said Dinesh S., who works at a petrol station on the road. Another motorist, Sanjay Bajaj, said that traffic during the night was high, which complicated issues especially for two-wheeler riders.

“There is always the risk of loose gravel sometimes ricocheting and hurting other motorists,” he said.

Meanwhile, tired of waiting for the BBMP to fill the potholes in front of the Cubbon Park Police Station, the police have themselves filled the huge crater opposite their station. A senior traffic police official there told The Hindu they hired some labourers to fill the crater Thursday afternoon. “We had earlier filled it; but that was washed away in the rain. We have complained to the BBMP several times about the road’s poor condition, but to no avail.”

‘Yes, it’s delayed’

When contacted, a BBMP official conceded that the road-widening project was moving slowly. The project cost is approximately Rs. 2 crore.

“There are three obstructions — a bus shelter, a dead tree and a cable that has to be shifted. Once these obstructions are cleared, we will be able to complete the widening work. The road will be asphalted once it’s all over,” an official said.

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