After Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) started commercial operations on the Green Line of Namma Metro, it was expected that traffic congestion on Tumakuru Road would come down, as it would have a metro network for over 10 km from Sandal Soap Factory station to Nagasandra.
Contrary to this expectation, traffic congestion has been increasing over the years and navigating Goraguntepalya, one of the prominent junctions on the busy road, has remained a nightmare.
Multiple projects were proposed to decongest the junction in the last one decade, but most of them remained in cold storage.
Goraguntepalya is an important junction on Tumakuru Road as it connects the Outer Ring Road and the traffic moves towards Nelamangala via the junction. Tumakuru Road connects Bengaluru with over 20 districts.
Recently, the heads of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike inspected the junction and some short-term measures were taken up that include filling up potholes and asphalting the road.
A police official said the short-term measures have helped to clear congestion at a marginal level, but pointed out that considering the safety of the pedestrians, there is a need for construction of a skywalk across Tumakuru Road and ORR side.
“Every day, hundreds of people, including those who travelling in long-distance buses, get down at Goraguntepalya to reach other destinations in the city. In the absence of skywalks, crossing the road is a challenge. Sometimes, when over 50 pedestrians cross the road together, the traffic police usually guide them to cross the road by blocking the traffic.”
Absence of public toilets and bus shelters also cause a lot of inconvenience to the public.
Joseph Thomas, a motorist, added, “Reaching Goraguntepalya from Hebbal is a big challenge. The traffic gridlock on MES flyover is routine. Near the approach point of the flyover, the road is narrow and cannot handle the large number of vehicles coming from the Hebbal side. The authorities should come out with solutions to address the issue”.
In 2018, the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) proposed several plans to decongest the area. The proposed plans included construction of an underpass and grade-level road up to ALISDA, construction of elevated road from ALISDA to BEL junction, and grade-level road up to Water Pipeline Road.
A senior official of the BDA said, “To decongest the junction and for smooth flow of traffic towards ORR (BEL side), the BDA had come with three options. The project cost ranges from ₹424 crore to ₹1,112 crore. To implement the project, Defence land is required. To minimise the acquisition cost, the State government was also asked to consider the option of compensating by giving government land of the same value to the Defence authorities. The State government has to decide on the matter”.
Recently, BMRCL had asked the BBMP to consult them before allowing any construction works on ORR as it would come in the way of the proposed metro elevated corridor from Hebbal to J.P. Nagar.
To reduce the congestion, the civic heads also asked the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) to find out the feasibility of terminating the long-distance buses at Peenya bus stand.
The Peenya bus stand has remained underutilised for years. Opening the Peenya flyover to heavy vehicles or at least buses would help to decongest the traffic. Heavy vehicles were barred from the flyover for over six months.
(Mission Decongestion is a series on some of the worst traffic junctions in Bengaluru that the civic authorities hope to decongest)
“This a major bus stop. There is a need for skywalks to cross the road. It is very difficult to cross the road as vehicles join the junction from different directions.”Vijaya KumarA passenger
“The short term measures have helped clear congestion to a marginal level. There is a proposal to remove the traffic police kiosk and give a free left turn for vehicles coming from Hebbal side and moving towards Yeshwanthpur side.”A police official