BBMP says the work will be done soon and was only delayed due to rain.
White topping work on Old Madras road (OMR) has confused and inconvenienced commuters. Akshat (name changed), a chartered accountant who usually travels by this road said, “The entire stretch is blocked, it is a critical road and the only connecting road with no alternatives. The white topping could have been done in parts. Authorities do not care about common citizens and this blockage is proof. The traffic has also worsened after the project, and it will continue for six to seven months.”
On November 16, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) issued a traffic advisory regarding the diversion of vehicles from OMR to Indiranagar in East Bengaluru as it started working on white-topping the stretch between 100 Feet Junction and Anjaneya Junction.
The notice warned commuters of traffic congestion in parts of East Bengaluru, including Indiranagar, Halasuru, and Jeevan Bhima Nagar areas.
The head constable of Halsuru Traffic Police said “The traffic from the NGF signal is being diverted towards Indiranagar and Old Airport. However, small roads nearby are still operational. The work will soon be finished and the traffic movement will be restored.”
Commuters are confused about what lane to take since the roads are restricted because of white topping. Moreover, commuters are also complaining about how the white topping is forcing some of them to take 2nd Main Road, Stage 1, Indiranagar, where road parking is only permitted on one side of the road. But there is congestion created because commuters park on both sides.
BBMP guidelines for the Construction and Maintenance of City Roads mention the basic considerations in taking up any road work including the safe and unobstructed flow of traffic.
Halsuru’s head constable said about two to three minor accidents have been reported on the road due to the traffic. “We are also receiving more than two or three complaints from citizens daily because of that. We are hoping the BBMP finishes its work soon and the free movement of vehicles is restored,” he added.
After complaints about delays from several motorists, the BBMP on Nov. 23 started ‘rapid road’ work on a pilot basis on the OMR, which is supposed to reduce the time of completion of white-topping work from around 30 days to two to three days.
However, another commuter who had to wait longer than usual due to heavy traffic on the road said, “It’s a good effort but this work could be carried out during the night time so that the traffic is not affected.”
The executive engineer in charge of Old Madras Road white topping said, “We are working to complete the white topping soon and I went on the site just yesterday. It will be done soon and the work was only delayed because it was drizzling. The work was halted due to the rains and will be finished soon.”
Prof. M.N. Sreehari, a traffic advisor and expert said, “This is the first time such a technology (rapid road) is being used here. It will finish the white topping work faster for the traffic to move about freely but people need to wait for it. Until the work is done, commuters should avoid going from that road.”
He said, “While the technology makes the white topping work 20 percent costlier, it will benefit the road users as the work will get done faster and they do not have to wait for 20 – 30 days.”