When it was opened two decades ago, the cable-stayed bridge at K.R. Puram turned out to be a landmark, attracting people for its engineering marvel. But now, when someone hears the names Tin Factory or K.R. Puram, images of traffic snarls is what comes to mind first.
Thousands of motorists travel through this junction every day towards Whitefield, Silk Board, and other points from Hebbal, Baiyappanahalli and other locations. For the last five years, motorists and bus passengers have endured more congestion because of metro construction in the area. Two metro lines - Baiyappanahalli to Whitefied (under phase II) and K.R. Puram to Bengaluru Airport (under Phase II B) - will go via the Tin Factory area.
Recently, chiefs of civic bodies inspected the Tin Factory junction to address the traffic issues. As an immediate measure, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL), the agency which is carrying out the metro work, was asked to asphalt a stretch of the road near the bridge for the parking of city buses.
But motorists and bus passengers say traffic congestion can be reduced only when the BMRCL completes metro works and starts running the train to Whitefield, completes widening of the road from under-construction Benniganahalli metro station towards K.R. Puram Railway station, and constructs bus-bays on either side of the road.
The BMRCL has set a deadline of 2022 to start commercial operations on the extended Purple Line up to Whitefield. However, people are not convinced. “It has been years and construction works are still on. Going by whatever is visible, the BMRCL has to go a long way in completing the project,” said Madava Prasad, a motorist.
Measures announced and taken
BMRCL had started the construction of a 15-km metro line in 2017. At Tin Factory, the project was badly hit due to factors such as traffic, changes in the alignment of the metro, delay acquisition of land, pandemic, and others.
To lessen the traffic congestion in the area, the State government had instructed the BMRCL to widen the road on either side of the K.R. Puram bridge and construct the bus-bays.
“The South Western Railways in principle agreed to provide the land. We are providing an alternative land nearby owned by the BDA. However, acquisition of BDA land has got some issues. The authority had acquired the land long ago, but 32 structures have illegally come up over the years. Correspondence is on with the BDA on acquiring the land. Once the compensation is fixed and encroachments are cleared, the land will be handed over to the Railways,” said an official. After acquiring the land, the BMRCL will complete the widening work till the railway station. There is a need for building proper pedestrian paths on the either side of the roads.
After the recent inspection, the BMRCL had widened a stretch of the road near the skywalk. A police official said: “Providing temporary bus bay for city buses has helped ease the traffic moving towards Whitefield and Silk Board side. However, people going towards K.R. Puram side have no option but to stand near the ramp of the bridge to catch the bus. There needs to be multiple bus-bays in the area and designated bus stops. The BBMP and other agencies should think on providing more space for buses to park.”
(Mission Decongestion is a series on some of the worst traffic junctions in Bengaluru that the civic authorities hope to decongest)
“Earlier, we faced traffic congestion after crossing Benniganahalli flyover and moving towards K.R. Puram railway station. After the BMRCL started metro work on ORR, traffic increased at many junctions. Once the metro is ready, traffic will reduce as many will take the train.”Prasanna ReddyCommutes from Hebbal to Whitefield
“Providing temporary bus bay for city buses has helped ease the traffic moving towards Whitefield and Silk Board. However, people going towards K.R. Puram have no option but to stand near the ramp of the bridge to catch a bus. There need to be multiple bus-bays in the area and designated bus stops. The BBMP and other agencies should provide more parking lots for buses.”Police official