New route to Bengaluru Airport hits roadblock, govt agencies squabble over way ahead
Travelling to the Bengaluru airport is a tedious job. Considering the heavy traffic, a new route to the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) seemed like a perfect idea and residents rejoiced when work on the road kick-started in February.
However, the project has crossed the Chief Minister's deadline of March 31 for completion and has now hit a roadblock which is likely to delay work further.
The Public Works Department (PWD), which is constructing the road from Mylanahalli to Begur has stopped the work as a 120 KV power line has been found below the road and the PWD now wants to shift the power line.
According to the Chief Engineer of the PWD’s South Division, Srinivas, “It’s is not unusual to want to shift a power line while building a road. It is quite a common practice. We have to dig up the entire road in order to fix any problem with the line. It is better to shift the power line once and for all so commuters on the way to the airport do not face the inconvenience of bad roads.”
Although the PWD is carrying out the works, the project is being funded by the Infrastructure Development Department. The IDD has now asked Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Ltd. (KPTCL) to shift the power lines.
This is not an easy task as the 120 KV line supplies power to the KIA and any relocation of the power line will affect the airport’s operations.
KIA officials have already held talks with the PWD and KPTCL and are still pushing the idea for the power line to remain where it is. “We have suggested that a service duct be installed around the power line or a culvert be created around the power line. But no decision has been made by the authorities yet,” said a KIA official.
Adding to the complications, the power supply agency has decided to go ahead with the shifting of the high tension power line only if PWD funds the project. While PWD is not funding the construction of the road, it has approached the IDD and a decision is yet to be made.
As the agencies involved fight over these issues, work on the road has stopped completely. “Nothing can be done until funds to shift the power line are granted. If it is not shifted, the road will have to be dug up just like the power line near Vidhana Soudha metro station,” a PWD official told TNM.
During the construction of the Vidhana Soudha metro station, the BBMP had decided to shift the utilities to the pedestrian walkway. The BBMP had, back then, said that high-tension power lines, like the 220 KV one near Vidhana Soudha did not develop snags. However, the pathway had to be dug up in March this year when a problem arose.
“We have to figure out how to tackle this problem. None of the agencies is agreeing to any solution put forth till now,” the PWD official added.