Bengaluru Smart City Ltd. has floated a tender for an integrated mobility hub and junction improvement at the historic but congested K.R. Market junction, with an estimated project cost of ₹20 crore.
The project has been designed to ensure seamless connectivity in and around the area by integrating the junction with transport hubs to promote business and tourism. “The junction has very high footfall and has important and busy connecting roads such as S.J.P. Road, N.R. Road, and Avenue Road. It also has roads leading to Kalasipalyam Market and Victoria Hospital, among others. Hence, to avoid traffic congestion, an intelligent traffic management system is vital,” said Hephsiba Rani Korlapati, managing director, Bengaluru Smart City Ltd., explaining the goal of the project.
She said the K.R. Market junction had many residual areas that were underutilised. “Hence, optimal utilisation of space in and around the junction would be a game changer. The design also emphasises maintaining the existing travel lanes and does not negatively impact traffic capacity,” she added.
The plan includes public toilets, a play space for children, diaper changing desks, and a refuge area for emergency situations. “Toilets and seating areas have been designed keeping in mind children and the differently abled. Two toilet complexes are planned and there will be separate facilities for men, women, and transgender persons. They will also be disabled friendly,” said Ms. Korlapati.
P.C. Mohan, MP, Bengaluru Central, said the project was planned and designed after consultations with all stakeholders, including traders, the traffic police, Directorate of Urban Land Transport, the BBMP, the BWSSB, and the BMTC. “It will decongest the place so that people who pass through or visit it will have a pleasant experience. It will give the market and surrounding areas a facelift,” he said.
The plan will be successful only if renovation of K. R. Market begins. But the ambitious renovation and restructuring of the market under the Smart City project is yet to take off. Tenders floated for it failed to attract bidders. Senior officials said new tenders would be floated soon.
G.M. Diwakar, president, K.R. Market Flower Merchants’ Association, said once the ‘junction development and market redevelopment are completed, it will be beneficial to vendors, pedestrians, and motorists. “However, we have to see how fast the authorities will execute the work,” he said and added that basic infrastructure such as toilets and pedestrian crossing were long overdue.