Dubbing it a waste of taxpayers’ money, an online petition by the groups asked the BBMP to engage in a transparent manner with all stakeholders.

BBMP office
news Civic issues Friday, May 13, 2022 - 13:35

A collective of citizens’ groups in Bengaluru, including the Bellandur Development Forum (BDEV), Bellandur Forum (BF), Iblur Environs trust (IBENT) and the Kasavanahalli Development Forum (KDF) have started a petition urging the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to stop construction of the proposed underpass at Haralur junction of Sarjapura Road estimated to cost Rs 23 crore. The collective represents residents from Outer Ring Road-Bellandur, Sarjapur road, Iblur, Haralur, Kasavanahalli, Halanayakanahalli, Devarabeesanahalli, Bellandur, Kaikondrahalli, Chikkanayakanahalli, Doddakanneli and Carmelaram.

Outlining its reasons for objecting to the project, the petition states that the underpass is being built in unprecedented circumstances where there is “no junction” since the T-junction itself has been blocked for five years by Bangalore Traffic Police as a measure to reduce the junction bottleneck, and this arrangement has been working smoothly for the last five years. 

The proposed underpass at Haralur junction is less than 500 metres from the real choke point of Iblur junction where Sarjapura Road intersects with Outer Ring Road, and any intervention at Haralur junction via piecemeal approach will do nothing to address the root cause of the traffic congestion, i.e. Iblur junction, it further says. Calling the project a waste of taxpayers’ money, the petition says, “Already, the traffic snarls go up to 1 km and beyond in peak hours- and this will do nothing to address this true bottleneck.” 

“As the underpass comes to grade (ground) just before the traffic light of Iblur junction, vehicles will have to wait at the bottom of the underpass for the light to go green, waiting as much as 90 seconds on average, given the known drainage issues in underpass design in Bengaluru, this could put vehicles in severe danger in rainy situations,” it says. The petition adds that it would also create serious criss-cross patterns at Iblur junction traffic light, as vehicles coming from the slip road would intersect haphazardly with vehicles coming up to grade on the underpass, which could be dangerous.

The proposed underpass at Haralur junction is in conflict with the upcoming Sarjapura Road Metro line, which has been recently commissioned, the petition states, adding that this in turn could lead to a Jayadeva flyover-style demolition causing loss of taxpayers’ money and needless inconvenience to commuters.

“BBMP has hardly made any attempt to even look at pedestrian mobility in this key corridor, while BMRCL has in contrast, added pedestrian mobility plans to get to Iblur metro station from Sarjapura road, even prior to the commissioning of the Sarjapura road Metro line,” the petition says. 

The petition also states that there has been no proper public consultation in the consideration of this project, and it appears to be serving a narrow spectrum of interests, rather than catering to the broader section of commuters. Asking the BBMP to immediately halt construction of the project, the groups urged the BBMP to explore ways to address the congestion at the true bottleneck of the major road interchange of ORR and Sarjapura road, less than 500 metres away at Iblur junction and look at holistic designs for managing the flow of traffic.

The petition also urges the civic body to make a sincere attempt to address the pedestrian crossing issues at the Kaikondrahalli lake - Iblur junction corridor, and to engage in a transparent manner with all stakeholders, including BMRCL (Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limited), DULT (Directorate of Urban Land Transport), and citizen groups in the neighbourhood.

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