BENGALURU: Siddaiah Road in Hombegowda Nagar in Wilson Garden which has been a favourite short-cut for commuters to reach Hosur Road from KH Road is in a mess, all thanks to ongoing white-topping works. For the past three months, motorists have been forced to take the much-crowded Hosur Road to reach Dairy Circle — only adding to the traffic congestion there.
The New Indian Express visited the area on Monday to find that Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP’s) plan of providing a white-topped concrete road —work on which has been moving at a snail’s pace since March 24 — has led to piled-up debris causing heavy traffic jams, garbage accumulation and water contamination in the area.
“The drainage work was done, but the authorities have now dug up the footpaths. The construction work has led to garbage accumulation and water contamination,” said Manju N, an auto driver.“Citizens of the area are facing miseries for the last three months. The construction work has resulted in water stagnation, thereby leading to a foul smell spreading in the area. My customers, especially the elderly, are avoiding the narrow planks over dug-up portions to come to my shop. This has hampered our business significantly,” says Pavan Kumar, a chemist.
The work, undertaken by MVR Contractors for the BBMP, started before the assembly polls were notified, but was halted due to the model code of conduct. The contractors, on their part, have claimed good pace of work, but only 300 metres of footpath on one side of the road has been completed so far.“We started the work on March 24 and 300 metres of the road was already completed. The pace has been good and the work is set to be completed in the next four months,” said a contractor on condition of anonymity.He admitted that rains had deterred the rate at which workwas progressing.
MONSOON LIKELY TO INCREASE TROUBLES
With the pre-monsoons already affecting the ongoing road works, there is another problem: It has led to mosquito-breeding in puddles of stagnant water caused by the digging as part of the project. And this is only going to get worse when monsoon rains are likely to hit the city by June 5.“The contractor does not seem to be interested in completing the project. Drainage has caused sewage water to collect on footpaths and this dissuades customers from eating in the vicinity of the puddles,” said Satheek Rao, a restaurant owner on the footpath which is yet to be upgraded. Piled-up gravel on the streets too has resulted in disruption of traffic and has emerged as a major impediment.
“Traffic is slow-moving till 10 pm and monsoons have added to our woes. Ten years ago, the roads were in a better condition,” said Mohan Kumar, a shopkeeper. Local residents were not even informed prior to beginning of the road work. “Three months have gone by and no substantial work has taken place. Let us see what the INC-JD(S) alliance does,” said Ranga and Raju, owners of a roadside food-stall.
When contacted, Hombegowda Nagar corporator D Chandrappa told The New Indian Express:“We have commissioned works to make the condition of the road better, and white-topping has to be done. Problems like traffic jam and water contamination will happen. Even if you go to places like Brigade Road, such issues will be there when any new projects are undertaken.”