Named after a cricketing great, J.P. Nagar underpass shames

USELESS: Regulars insist that the underpass has not helped ease traffic, especially as the roads in the surrounding areas have not improved. Photo: Ananth Shreyas  

A particular stretch of the 15th Cross in J.P. Nagar 2nd Phase is an obstacle course for pedestrians and motorists alike.

The G.R. Vishwanath Underpass, constructed to ease traffic at the junction of Bannerghatta Road and Kanakapura Road, does not seem to be effective. Ever since it was inaugurated a year ago, the underpass has been closed many times for repairs.

Its construction was taken up at a cost of Rs. 23 crore by Engineers Project India Pvt. Ltd. in 2008. Though it was to be completed in 10 months, it stretched on till January 2011.

Bad construction

The traffic police nearby claim they have complained several times to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) about the poor quality of construction, but to no avail. A traffic policeman, who didn't want to be named, told The Hindu the iron grill over the drains in the underpass has been damaged. “Motorists hesitate to use the underpass as they have to go over the damaged iron grill. Many prefer to take the service roads to go towards Puttenahalli and other parts of J.P. Nagar.”

No improvement

Those who do use the underpass point out that the road surface is undulating and not levelled and there is water seepage. They insist that the underpass has not been able to ease traffic, especially as the roads in the surrounding areas have not improved.

Narasimhan M.N., owner of a medical store in the area, said: “There were many delays in completion of the construction. With the number of vehicles increasing, the underpass has not helped to ease traffic in the area.”

For pedestrians, it is hardship all the way. The sidewalks are blocked by construction debris and garbage.

The slabs of the footpath have given way at several spots and a water pipeline is broken on one of the service roads.

J.P. Nagar Councillor Chandrashekar Raju said the BBMP had levied a penalty of Rs. 3 crore for the faulty construction. Conceding that the underpass has been repaired several times, he said: “The root cause of this is the lack of skilled work provided by the contractor and sub-contractor.”

A resident of Kanakapura Road made no bones about his displeasure over the underpass named after one of the greatest cricketers of the country. He said: “I cannot forget what G.R. Vishwanath, local resident and renowned cricketer, said at the inauguration ceremony. He said he was happy that Bangalore still remembered the original Little Master. It is unfortunate that the underpass named after him is in such a state of disrepair.”

The gentleman

When contacted, the great cricketer refused to comment. Prodded for his reaction, Mr. Vishwanath chose his words carefully. “The underpass has not been built properly and it is only fair that it gets fixed soon.”

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 6:49:56 AM |

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