Theft of fence poses new challenge on Bengaluru-Mysuru access controlled highway

Thieves stole a fence on a 1-km stretch near Channapatna and sold the metal as scrap. Removal of fencing increases risk of accidents on the Bengaluru-Mysuru access controlled highway 

Updated - August 19, 2023 10:46 am IST

Published - August 18, 2023 02:37 pm IST - Bengaluru

Iron fence has been removed on some stretches of Bengaluru Mysuru access controlled highway. The main purpose of erecting the fencing is to prevent entry of pedestrians, livestock, and dogs into the main carriageway, and reduce the likelihood of accidents.

Iron fence has been removed on some stretches of Bengaluru Mysuru access controlled highway. The main purpose of erecting the fencing is to prevent entry of pedestrians, livestock, and dogs into the main carriageway, and reduce the likelihood of accidents. | Photo Credit: Bhagya Prakash K

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Bengaluru–Mysuru access controlled highway is encountering a new challenge — thieves have set their sights on the protective fence lining its edges. Over the past few days, theft of fencing has been reported in Channapatna and other locations along the route. The fence is intended to deter jaywalking.

Recently, thieves stole the fence on a 1-kilometer stretch near Channapatna, and sold the metal as scrap. According to local police, the fence has been stolen at Thittamaranahalli in Channapatna taluk, which has increased the risk of accidents on the access controlled highway.

A senior police officer in Channapatna said there has been a notable surge in theft of the metal fence along the highway. “An entire kilometre of fencing was stolen and then sold as scrap. These thefts take place at night. Efforts are underway to apprehend the culprits,” an officer said.

Threat to motorists

The main purpose of erecting the fencing is to prevent the interaction of pedestrians, livestock, and dogs with the main carriageway, as such encounters could increase the likelihood of accidents.

According to Thittamaranahalli resident Madhushankar Gowda, over the past 15 days, sections of the fence have been systematically dismantled. “There is widespread speculation that these miscreants are selling the stolen fence as scrap to make quick money. The absence of the fence has resulted in cows and dogs accessing the main carriageway, thereby creating challenges for motorists,” he said.

Shankarappa B., another resident, expressed concern over the increasing incidents of fence theft, noting that the authorities have yet to respond effectively to apprehend the culprits. “Police should take this issue seriously. Lack of action will inevitably contribute to a rise in accidents along a stretch that is already notorious for accidents.The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is yet to replace the stolen fencing,” he added.

Police to increase patrolling

Police officials said that they will increase patrolling along the stretch to curb instances of fence theft. A senior police official said, “We have initiated heightened patrolling in the areas where thefts were reported. We are committed to further intensify our efforts by increasing patrolling.”

NHAI officials could not be reached for a statement regarding the theft of fencing.

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