With the hope of having better roads comes longer waiting times in traffic as roads are going to be partially closed during the makeover.

Bluru get ready for more traffic White-topping work begins bad method says expert
news Civic Issues Tuesday, December 19, 2017 - 18:56

If your daily life involves commuting through Bengaluru’s traffic, it is going to get a whole lot worse before it (hopefully) gets better.

In a bid to provide pothole-free roads, the BBMP is all set to go ahead and white-top 28 major roads in the city. White-topping is a process where normal bitumen asphalted roads are given a concrete topping in the hope of giving them a longer life and to prevent potholes.

But with the hope of having better roads comes longer waiting times in traffic as roads are going to be partially closed during the makeover. Moreover, simultaneous works in multiple stretches will compound the problem.

According to BBMP officials, the entire process is going to take a good 11 months and will be finished only in August next year. The civic body estimates a stretch of 1 km of road to take 10 days to be white-topped.

Currently, the process of white-topping is underway in Bannerghatta Road, Mysore Road, Outer Ring Road (KR Puram-Old Madras Road stretch).

Some of the stretches already affected are the Outer Ring Road stretch towards Hebbal from Kasturi Nagar, and the Adugodi junction on Hosur Road.

At the Outer Ring Road, in the stretch between Kasturinagar and Ramamurthy Nagar, only the service roads are operational, causing massive slowdown.

According to the Bengaluru Traffic Department estimates, the travel time on the stretch of Hosur Road from St John’s Hospital towards Brigade Road will double due to this. The traffic has been diverted to Bannerghatta Road.

Traffic movements have also slowed down at Madiwala, Dairy Circle, Tavarekere junctions.

With many other projects to start in four days’ time, the city will suffer even worse traffic snarls.

But is there a better alternative?

Yes, says traffic expert MN Sreehari. Explaining that white-topping roads is definitely a “good idea”, he says there are two major problems with the project.

“White-topping is not the most recent technology. They were sleeping for four and a half years. Why didn't the government do all this before elections at one go?” he asks, suggesting that this is a move keeping in mind the Assembly polls next year.

Secondly, he said that the BBMP is still following an ancient technique of using gunny bags to cure the concrete.

“There are chemical additives that can be used so that the concrete can be cured in one day and the road can be used the next day. The technology is readily available and will save people from this massive inconvenience,” he says.

The added cost is negligible compared to the advantages, he says. “If the government really wanted to, it could have ensured that the people are not troubled like this. This shows that the corporation (BBMP) itself does not have adequate knowledge.”

The BBMP Chief Engineer, Mayor and the Commissioner could not be reached for a comment.


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