Telangana

Infra projects turning into vanity affairs

Within a year, the ‘Love Hyd’ sculpture on Tank Bund road was moved away to People’s Plaza.   | Photo Credit: K.V.S. GIRI

A bridge is meant for bridging distances, a sidewalk is meant for people to walk from A to B, a road is meant for zipping ahead especially if it is the eight-lane Outer Ring Road, but Hyderabad has turned these basic infrastructure projects into spiffy glittering showpieces.

A few days back, Principal Secretary MA&UD Arvind Kumar tweeted: “Lighting on rocks along with #ORR. 7 additional stretches covering about 3 kms are provided with boulders lighting (254 luminaries)… These are in addition to the existing ones on Gachibowli- Shamshabad stretch. Plus, the LED lighting on median work in full swing.” One netizen demolished the utility of the work with a statement: “Stopping on ORR is prohibited…”

While the age-old Deccan rocks are a sight for chauffeured passengers, a moment’s distraction for a driver can prove disastrous.

Last year, the inauguration of the suspension bridge over the Durgam Cheruvu led to chaos as motorists stopped or slowed down to see the beauty of the bridge and the light-show thanks to colourful floodlights. On weekends, the mayhem reached such proportions that the Hyderabad Police slapped restrictions on movement of vehicles on weekends. The bridge which cost nearly ₹334 crore, if the elevated approach road’s cost is also included, was reduced to a showpiece when it was made a pedestrian-only affair at nights and on weekends.

Traffic problems

Now, the stunning photographs of the Tank Bund transformation is drawing thousands of citizens at all hours of the day to the lake promenade. The ₹11.61crore project makes cars slow down, bikers stop wherever they can and pedestrians criss-cross the road which happens to be a national highway. The Lake Police patrol team which used to keep an eye on the waters of the lake to prevent suicides and accidents has now been forced to turn its attention to the road. “Bikers slow down and sometimes stop suddenly. We keep asking them to go away. I direct them to that parking lot on the other side of the road. Instead parking and crossing the road, they stop here,” says a traffic constable posted in the site.

“What is the need for lighting up the sidewalk if the roads are dark. It is difficult to drive in the evening. It is first a road, then a sidewalk,” says Anuradha Reddy, a resident of Secunderabad, who found it difficult to drive in the twilight hours.

A different V-Day

In November 2016, a typographical installation ‘Love Hyd’ was installed on the Tank Bund road amidst much fanfare. The location was one of the busiest stretches in the city. It turned into a spot for lovers, vandals and selfie-takers. Within a few days, traffic police had to be deployed to stop motorists from stopping and blocking traffic. And in a year, the sculpture was moved away to People’s Plaza.

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Printable version | Apr 14, 2021 8:01:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/infra-projects-turning-into-vanity-affairs/article33855028.ece

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