Roads or death-traps?

Traffic jams, potholes, and delay in construction – the reality of Bengaluru Roads.


White-topping of Palace Road.

By Akash Khandke, Adline B Minj and Nandu G

Bengaluru: The condition of the roads in the city is responsible for a number of problems, including traffic jams, accidents, and parking limitations. In most parts ofthe city, either the roads are under construction for a long time or are in very poor condition. Travellers, residents, shopkeepers, and shoppers are the victims of the negligence of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike.

Palace road, one of Bengaluru’s busy roads, has been under construction for more than a year. White-topping of the existing road is in progress. Owing to this, half the road and the adjacent footpath are out of service. The underground-cable-laying work is going on simultaneously. The two-way road has been converted into one way. Traffic jams are a daily occurrence here.

"I have been working here for the past one year. The road is still under construction. It will take another six months to complete the work," says Murthy, a construction worker.

People are forced to walk on the main road as the footpath outside the Bangalore Turf Club is under construction. Pavement blocks, cement, and macadam heaps are placed all over the footpath. There is a high risk of accidents as pedestrians and vehicles use the same road.

Chickpet's Bangalore One office in the Balepet area, a centre for water, electricity, and phone-bill payment, is surrounded by poor quality roads. It is an uphill task for the citizens to travel to this place, in this very busy locality. Even though it is one of the highest tax-paying constituencies in Bengaluru, Chickpet has the perennial problem of its sewerage lines getting clogged. To rectify these problems, roads are often dug up.

Shopkeepers and residents here face new challenges every day. Vinod, a local resident says, "travelling from home to the main road has become difficult. The distance, which is usually covered in two minutes, now takes between 10 and 15 minutes. I have also met with a few minor accidents in the last two months."

The shopkeepers across the area are facing economic challenges as buyers are avoiding the area. There is no systematic parking arrangement as well. "I am the owner of this photo-frame shop. I have been in this business for the last ten years. The poor condition of the roads and lack of traffic management have affected my business. People avoid visiting the area. Earlier, roads were dug up for metro work, now sewerage work is in progress. Shopkeepers have tried to contact the local authorities, but no firm action has been taken. I hope the corporation looks into this matter as early as possible," says Vijay.

Taxi and autorickshaw drivers are also suffering owing to poor road conditions. Sayed Nasir, an autorickshaw driver from R.T. Nagar, says, "the poor condition of roads is a big hurdle for us. People book auto-rickshaws online and expect us to pick them up in time. Delays are unavoidable considering the road conditions. It affects our ratings. In R.T. Nagar and nearby areas, underground cable work is in progress. This is one of the main reasons for traffic jams. In the rainy season, the roads are full of potholes. There is a high risk of accidents these days. I have met with two accidents and the front wheel of the vehicle was damaged."

BBMP has a grievance cell to receive complaints. But the process is lengthy and time-consuming. The citizens have to call and lodge a complaint and provide the area details. The complaint is then forwarded to the concerned authority, who then contacts the complainant and visits the area. Only after that does the actual repair work take place.

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