BANGALORE: The swiftly moving Metro trains might paint a pretty picture of Bangalore from a bird’s eyeview — however, a look at the roads that lie just below the tracks, that carry the city’s most coveted infrastructural jewel paints a very sad picture.
Before the Reach I of Namma Metro was inaugurated with much pomp and show, a literal war broke out between the BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) and the BMRCL (Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited) authorities. The reason — Who will ensure roads outside the Metro stations are fixed?
Finally, owing to public pressure and governmental rap, both the bodies decided to settle the daunting issue amicably, by contributing equally to fixing the roads. The 50:50 joint partnership ensured that the roads outside all of the six stations were fixed.
But merely five months since the Reach I became operational, the problem of bad roads surrounding the Metro stations has come back to haunt people. Be it the station on CMH Road or the patchy repair work done on MG Road Metro Station - or even the uneven pothole filled road outside the Ulsoor Metro Station — the situation is shouting out for immediate action.
In all this, while citizens are ranting away to the authorities, through various letters and complaints — some are even taking the social networking route to voice their concerns — it seems like that authorities have slipped back into their slumberous ways. “We are looking at the problem. We never expected the roads to crack so soon, as we had used world class quality material,” said a chief engineer from the BBMP. Interestingly, the BBMP authorities atleast acknowledged the problem, the BMRCL completely refused to believe that a problem existed outside the swanky stations. “There’s nothing wrong with the roads. They were fixed and a good sum was spent to do that,” said an official who was inspecting the MG Road Metro Station on Sunday afternoon.
Meanwhile, like always it was the residents, vehicles and shopkeepers in the areas surrounding the stations — who ultimately suffered. “We had a lot of hope of reviving our business, even doubling it after the Reach I was inaugurated. But the bad conditions of the roads have left us hanging in between. Customers do not want to cross the bad roads and come to our shops. Its difficult to travel by vehicles on rocky uneven grounds,” said Gautham, a shopkeeper from CMH Road. In the hope that the authorities would reinstate the roads to better shape, the shopkeepers from CMH Road and MG Road have approached the authorities too.