10 Jan 2017 20:53 IST

Second Runner-up

Look at providing a long-term solution

You cannot go forward with the flyover without the consent of all stakeholders.

The proposed steel flyover will eventually get congested with increasing traffic

 

Bangalore is India’s fifth largest city with an estimated population of around 95 lakh people. The present day vehicle population is around 52 lakh. The biggest problem is that traffic to the airport will cross 35 million in next 10 years.

Considering the increase in traffic, the NHAI has built a six-lane elevated road beyond Hebbal flyover leading to the airport. The surface level road has been upgraded to six-lane main carriageway with a two-lane flyover which already exists at Hebbal. This is a bottleneck.

Traffic from the airport towards the city converges at the two-lane Hebbal flyover, causing a jam. The existing land use pattern is such that horizontal widening of existing road is practically impossible.

So the government proposed a 6.7 kilometre-long elevated steel flyover, which would cost an estimated ₹1,791 crore. This flyover would redirect traffic from the the southern part of south-east and south-west extensions of Bangalore and the Central Business District (CBD), towards the north.

Alternatives

Construct proposed project steel flyover

Instead, develop a metro rail link with a capacity of carrying 20,000–25,000 passengers an hour, onwards and back, at the cost of ₹389 crore per km.

Develop two alternative roads and revive rail link to the airport

Instead, develop the existing roads. Traffic from CBD would be directed on the project road, while the vehicles from Krishnarajpuram, Electronic City and Attibele will use the alternative roads.

The rail link will carry 25 per cent of the traffic and these other roads being developed will take care of the rest.

The already existing light rail transit transported 15,000 - 20,000 passengers an hour per direction, at ₹200 crore per km.

Right plan to improve connectivity

The government should consider a metro rail link to the airport and also look to develop the existing roads. We should focus on public transport, as well as on personal transport, such as cars.

Cost effective

Metro connectivity and developing the existing roads will be more cost effective than the proposed flyover. The connection of the metro rail to the airport is already proposed and is being considered by RITES Ltd. Going for a steel bridge without finalising the metro route has irked many, because if the Metro is built on the same road, there will be land acquisition issues and the whole process will drag over several years.

A mix of both these alternatives will be more expensive, as compared to the proposed plan in the short run. At the same time, in the long term, they will provide better connectivity and result in all-round gains. A few years down the line, a steel corridor may also get congested as traffic will only increase with time.

Metro rail fares will become cheaper than the toll paid on the flyover, and our main focus should be to motivate the people to use public transport. The government should go for this plan as it will be cost effective.

Delay in project

If, after all the adverse conditions, the government still decides to go ahead with the proposed flyover, there will be more delays in an already delayed project. Here are the reasons for this:

Public agitations, due to the cutting down of more than 800 trees, affecting the aesthetics of the city, demolishing heritage buildings where freedom fighters such as Subash Chandra Bose and Viveswarayya lived. You cannot go forward with the flyover without the consent of all stakeholders.

The stretch between Palace Grounds and the Bellary Road was acquired despite a dispute that went to the Supreme Court. The land was ready to be acquired by November 2014 but, since then, the entire project has been under wraps.

Cost-effective

The proposed flyover cuts the journey short only by 10 minutes or so. The traffic congestion on this road happens at the junction. If a flyover is built at the junction, at a lesser cost, there will be some benefits.

The focus should be on formulating a solution that will help in the long run, rather than quick fixes. This elevated bridge is only a short-term solution.

Tarun is a first-year MBA student at Symbiosis Centre For Management & Human Resource Development.

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