Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) have reached a ‘consensus’ on building a flyover at Sarakki Junction to ease the traffic movement. Earlier, the BBMP had proposed to build a flyover below the existing elevated metro corridor for the smooth flow of the traffic on the ORR and reduce waiting time for traffic below the junction significantly for other motorists. However, the proposed flyover came in the way of BMRCL’s Phase III metro extension alignment from Hebbal to J.P. Nagar on the ORR. The BMRCL had asked the BBMP to take up the project only after reaching a consensus.
Now it has been ‘resolved’ that instead of the BBMP, the BMRCL will implement the project by building a road-cum-metro flyover. The BMRCL is constructing it under the phase II project of Namma Metro from Ragigudda to Central Silk Board. The line is part of R.V. Road to Bommasandra Yellow Line and likely to be operational by next year.
Confirming the development, MD of the BMRCL Anjum Parwez told The Hindu that BMRCL will execute the project. “As per the decision, we will take up the project of building road-cum-rail flyover for a distance of 1.2 km, this will help in easing traffic congestion as well as accommodate phase III of Namma Metro. The BBMP will share the project cost,” he said.
Chief Engineer (Road and Infrastructure) of BBMP B.S. Prahalad said, “The proposed design will accommodate both rail and metro projects. As per the plan, at grade level, existing road infrastructure will remain. Above that, at level one, the proposed road flyover will come up. Using the same pier, a new line of metro will be constructed above the existing metro corridor. The BBMP will not implement the project. Instead, the BMRCL will implement it. The BMRCL has such infrastructure under construction from Ragigudda to Central Silk Board. In the future, Sarakki Junction will see the second rail-cum-road flyover in the city,”
The proposed metro-cum-road flyover will have a height of over 55 feet. Earlier, the BBMP had proposed to construct the flyover below the existing metro-elevated corridor for a distance of 1.2 km with four lanes, estimated to cost ₹130 crore.
Rise in traffic congestion
The extension of Namma Metro line from Yelachenahalli to Silk Institute induced investment for high-rise residential complexes and other commercial establishments on either side of Kanakpura Road and linking roads. As the population size increased, there has been an exponential rise in usage of private vehicles, leading to more pressure on existing road infrastructure. Sarakki Junction is one such traffic gridlock that has remained a nightmare for motorists using the ORR as well those who travel towards core areas of the city.
Recently, heads of various agencies visited the area and deliberated on short and long-term proposals required to ease congestion. The short-term measures are keeping the road condition in good shape, maintaining footpaths and others. Mr. Prahalad said that asphalting work will be taken up at the earliest.
A traffic police official said, “What I have observed is that after the pandemic, the usage of private vehicles has increased drastically. At the junction, traffic comes from four directions. Earlier, we had sent a letter to the BBMP to facilitate a free left for vehicles coming from Konanakunte to Illyasnagar side. They are yet to act on our suggestion. Construction of footpaths and the erection of a grill is required. The construction of the flyover would help in easing traffic congestion, but we have no idea when it will be done.” The official said that to man the traffic at Sarakki junction areas, an additional 20 home guards are deployed in shifts. Their job is also to make sure that no vehicles are parked on the road blocking traffic.
Abdul Aleem, president, Changemakers of Kanakapura Road Association, said, “Kanakapura Road is among the major national highways in the city. Sarakki Junction is one of the major junctions which connects the major areas of the city. But owing to non-cooperation among elected representatives, BBMP and BMRCL, the junction has remained problematic for the people. We urge the BMRCL and BBMP to work together on the flyover as well as the metro alignment. Adaptive traffic signals need to be installed at Sarakki Junction at the earliest. Pipeline road parallel to Kanakapura Road needs to be focused on and developed.”
Apart from a lack of coordination among agencies, pedestrian safety remains a major problem here. There is no skywalk at the junction and the public, particularly schoolchildren, senior citizens and those with physical disabilities, remain vulnerable.
Prabhu, a resident of Konanakunte, said, “Traffic jams are the major problem at this junction. Signals across Kanakapura Road can be synchronised. More priority can be given to vehicles moving straight so that they can run parallel with limited time for right-moving vehicles at the junction. Free left turns can be made at all four sides to allow the movement of left-moving vehicles. Pedestrian safety needs to be focused upon and a clear 15 seconds should be given for pedestrians to cross the road. The junction needs to be redesigned in consultation with traffic experts.”
“At the junction, traffic comes from four directions. Earlier, we had sent out a letter to BBMP to facilitate free left for vehicles coming from Konanakunte side to Illyasnagar side. They are yet to act on our suggestion. ”A traffic police official
“Pedestrian safety must be focused upon and a clear 15 seconds should be given for pedestrians to cross the road. The junction needs to be redesigned in consultation with traffic experts.”Prabhu, a Konanakunte resident
(Mission Decongestion series ends)