Outer Ring Road that runs through Bellandur is a nightmare to cross, say residents in the neighbourhood.Many commute for hours to take a U-turn and some have given up fun classes on other side of the road
BENGALURU: Mukund Kumar is a resident of Shobha Hibiscus Apartments on the Outer Ring Road near the Iblur Junction on Bellandur. Every day, he travels to Whitefield, HSR Layout and Marathalli. However, taking a bus to these places from this stretch of road poses a serious threat to his life.
“On either side of the Outer Ring Road (ORR), there are bus stops, but crossing it is a hassle. Every time I cross the road, I feel it's my last,” he says, adding that a skywalk nearby would come as a “boon”. While Mukund dodges accidents every day, others spend hours trying to take a U-turn instead of crossing this stretch and parents ask children to give up fun classes on the other side of the road.
Residents like Mukund have been demanding for the installation of a skywalk here for quite some time now, and the same received new vigour with the death of a security guard while he was crossing the road on the same stretch of the road, last month. The residents of around 10 apartment complexes have joined hands to try and persuade the authorities to hasten its construction. A protest was organised last month on the same issue by residents.
On the other side of the road is another apartment complex, Akme Harmony. Yatharth Mathur, is a high school student who lives here. Commuting to and from school is a pain according to Yatharth.
"My apartment has two gates – one on the Bellandur Main Road and another on the ORR. I am in 10th grade and time is crucial. Right now I have to travel in a bus that picks me up first from Bellandur main road." However Yatharth is also the last person to be dropped. "The school bus stops at the main gate on the ORR. For this, it has to take a U turn all the way from Central Mall. This takes a lot of time especially during peak traffic hours. Had there been a skywalk I could easily cross the other side and save at least an hour of commute," he says.
Apart from the school commute, there are a number of activities — like chess clubs and swimming classes — which happen on the other side of the road from his apartment. "My parents have however stopped me from going for any of these, because crossing the road as it is too dangerous," he adds.
Rasmhi Mathur, Yatharth's mother says what makes the crossing even more dangerous is the fact that there are no longer any speed breakers on the service road. "The BBMP had carried out some pothole filling and road repair work. Soon after this, we found that there were no speedbreakers. Also the medians on the roads are very high making accidents more prone while crossing the road," adds Rashmi Mathur.
Madan Thapa, works at a content firm based at Eco-Tech Village not very from from the aforementioned apartment complexes. He says, " I have seen a number of cases where people have missed death by a matter of inches. This is a daily scene. This situation especially arises when someone is crossing while a bus has halted.They end up crossing the road from the front of the bus unknown to a speeding vehicle that is behind the bus. It's a blind spot for both people crossing and a vehicle," he says.
The nearest skywalk is at RMZ Ecospace which is over 1 km away. "People around here really require skywalk. I usually take an auto to office and I need to take a U-Turn from Kadubesanahalli which is around 2kms away. A skywalk will greatly save me a great deal of time" adds Madan.
Gathering forces: residents to meet MP and BMRCL officials
Residents of a number of apartments around Bellandur where the a security guard was run over, have demanded that work on a skywalk take place this month.The skywalk has been proposed at the Bellandur Petrol bunk near the Softzone Tech Park. "Around five people from various apartment complexes met with the PC Mohan and we are glad that he has chosen to take up our cause," says Mukund Kumar, one of the residents.
Another round of talks with the MP that will also include officials from the BMRCL will be held today, he adds. "If a skywalk comes up, it might lead to a hindrance in the proposed metro line on this stretch. However, there are a number of flyovers and elevated roads here and residents feel there should not be a problem," he says.
The proposed metro line is part of Phase 2A plans of the BMRCL that aims to connect KR Pura to Silkboard and will pass through the entire IT corridor including areas such as Marathahalli, Kadubeesanahalli and Bellandur. The deadline for this project is 2020. In June this year, the BBMP decided to construct 26 skywalks in the city. A number of them are planned on the Outer Ring Road from KR Pura all the way to Iblur Junction. Some are set to come up near the New Horizon College, Kadubeesanahalli, Innovative Multiplex, Marathahalli and on Iblur Junction. Mukund says they will try to get the skywalk in their area to be included in this plan.
Students campaigning for skywalk
Last month, security guard Sanjay Aditya Giri died in an accident on the road that runs in front of Mukund Kumar's apartment. Residents of Akme Harmony Apartments, where Sanjay worked collected around `1.25 lakh for his treatment. A number of Class 3 students of Oakridge International School, Varthur Road also launched a campaign demanding a skywalk. A number of the participating students from the school stay near the Outer Ring Road where the accident