The tunnel roads are estimated to cost Rs 25,000 crore and has been proposed for a length of 83 km.

Bengaluru to have underground tunnel roads Bulgarian company to check feasibility
news Infrastructure Saturday, May 13, 2017 - 09:01

The Karnataka government has decided to go ahead with the construction of tunnel roads in the Bengaluru. A Bulgarian company has been assigned the responsibility of preparing the preliminary report for it, Bengaluru Development Minister KJ George told media persons.

The Minister said that a few places have been chosen for the construction of tunnel roads including Yeshwanthpur, Hebbal flyover and KR Puram.

“The project is still at a very nascent stage. We are going to look into the feasibility report before going ahead with the project. Tunnel roads are the best possible solution to solve the city’s traffic problems. These roads will connect the city from east to west and north to south,” George said.

According to a report by TNIE, the project could cost up to Rs 600 crore per km. The tunnel roads are estimated to cost Rs 25,000 crore and has been proposed for a length of 83 km.

The tunnel roads have been proposed from Central Silk Board to Hebbal through the city. This 16km stretch is the main north-south connector. The east-west corridor will be from K R Puram to Gorguntepalaya and Jnana Bharathi to Varthur Kodi.

There will also be three connecting corridors – the 9.2 km tunnel road from Agara to Kalasipalya, 2.4 km stretch from Richmond Circle to Halasuru and a 7.5 km road from Kalyan Nagar to St John’s Church Road.

Initially, when the project was announced, four areas were chosen - a 6-km tunnel from Hebbal to Chalukya Circle, one from Jalahalli to Goraguntepalya (1.4km), Nayandahalli to Majestic (8km) and the last one from SRS Road and Pipeline road to Peenya (2.25 km).

Officials from the Urban Development Department told TNM that the company entrusted with submitting the feasibility report is still surveying appropriate places for the tunnel roads and to ensure that the areas are not prone to water logging.

“If the tunnels are built, then more vehicles will travel on them. Currently, an average of 1,680 vehicle ply on every road in Bengaluru in one hour. With these tunnels in place, it may reduce to 1,500 and not more than that. Instead of building roads, the urban planners must use these underground areas feasible for providing local train lines or metro lines. If new infrastructure is built for public transport only then the vehicle density will decrease as the mass transport connectivity would be better,” said MN Sreehari, urban infra expert.

This is not the first time that tunnel roads have been proposed as a potential traffic decongestion idea. In 2015, KJ George himself had proposed a tunnel ring road along the peripheral ring road project, which cuts through Hosur Road, Sarjapur Road, Ballari Road, Doddaballapur Road and Tumakuru Road.

The feasibility report, which came back negative, led to the project being scrapped.

In 2007, the Karnataka government led by HD Kumaraswamy had proposed to build a 7.1-km tunnel between Minsk Square and Sankey Road. This project had also been scrapped.

“Now they want to build tunnel roads, which will be congested in the future. The idea is not sustainable as adding more roads will only increase the number of private cars. How many tunnel roads will they build every year?” Sreehari questioned.


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