Road widening, flyovers, Metro: What more on Bannerghatta Road?

Confusion prevails among Bannerghatta road residents, after BBMP announced its road widening plans. Though notices were issued to many occupants along the road last year and markings made on walls, no work was undertaken due to compensation-related issues.

Constructions galore

BBMP plans to widen the 7.4 km stretch between JD Mara junction (where JP Nagar ORR intersects Bannerghatta road) to Koli Farm Gate after NICE ring road. According to BBMP’s Major Roads department, the road will be widened from the existing 25-30 m to 45 m. Project is estimated to cost Rs 250-300 cr.

Widening will start at Jedimara junction, where Vega Mall is coming up. Pic: Navya P K

This includes three flyovers and two underpasses that BBMP plans to build on the stretch, to make it a signal-free corridor. There will be a three-tier grade separator – which includes flyover, underpass and level road – at JD Mara junction. Two flyovers will be built at Bilekahalli junction and Hulimavu Gate. An underpass will be built at Arakere junction.

While the road widening is being done as per RMP, the plan for underpasses and flyovers was made by BBMP. A senior official at the Major Roads department, on condition of anonymity, says that the plan is in the initial stage and that it would take about six months before it gets all formal approvals.

"Corporators and Major Road Committee are co-operative about this project. But it has to go through several levels of approval including Chief Engineer, Town Planning Officer, BBMP Council, Commissioner and Urban Development Department. There can be changes in plan along the way," he says. K T Nagaraj, Superintendent Engineer for Major Roads, was not reachable for comment.

Some 880-900 properties will be affected due to widening; about 3 lakh sq ft of land is needed for it altogether. BBMP plans to send notices to property owners and make markings on walls again.

Acquisition issues

There are very few individual houses along the stretch – buildings are mostly apartments, software companies and shops. There are about 20 high rise apartments with an average of 300 units per apartment. BBMP says that the first 1.5 km stretch from JD Mara has about 50% commercial properties, and the rest are mostly vacant lands and undeveloped areas. Kalena Agrahara and Gottigere villages which come afterwards are mostly residential areas. IIM-B, and Fortis, Apollo and Wockhardt hospitals along the stretch will have to give up part of their compounds, but the buildings will not be affected.

IIM-B located along the road, will lose part of its compound during widening. Pic: Navya P K

Mall Mania

There are two malls long the road – Gopalan, near Jayadeva flyover and Royal mall near Meenakshi temple. A third one, Vega mall, is a mixed development project which includes the mall and a Taj Gateway hotel at JD Mara junction.

Vega mall

  • Area: 16 lakh sq ft.
  • Parking space: 1600
  • Expected footfall: 30,000 per day.

Royal Meenakshi Mall

  • Area: 6.5 lakh sq ft
  • Parking space: 1000
  • Footfall on weekdays: 9000
  • Footfall on weekends: 25,000

Gopalan mall

  • Area: 2.6 lakh sq ft
  • Parking space: 395 cars and 1600 two-wheelers.

Y K Bhat, Former President of Mantri Residency Apartment Owners’ Association, says that they had received notices a year ago. Mantri Residency will lose about 50,000 sq ft of land during widening. They wrote back to BBMP saying that there were not ready to accept TDR, but haven’t got any response.

"There are 570 families staying here. We are not a commercial establishment. What will we do with TDR?" asks Bhat. Mantri Residency will lose its security room, vehicle parking area for guests and an ATM kiosk that is being rented out to ICICI bank. Rent from the ATM will be lost.

"There have been no organised protests in the area against widening. We are waiting to see what stand other apartments will take," says Bhat.

BBMP officials say that some property owners have already come forward to accept TDR. "Owners of larger properties will benefit from TDR as it will be useful elsewhere. Those who own 30X40 plots and small shops will be the losers and may protest. If only 1-2 people are protesting, BBMP may give them financial compensation," they say.

Arakere Corporator A N Purushotham says that he will arrange a public meeting with BBMP officials and residents. "Most people do not want to accept TDR, but 80% of people own large properties and will benefit from TDR. About the small shop owners, I will try to convince BBMP about giving cash compensation. I will also put pressure to decrease the proposed width, from 45 m to 120 feet (36 m)," he says.

Traffice towards Bilekahalli after the mall. Pic: Pranav B

Why widening?

BBMP says that widening was started due to traffic congestion. BBMP statistics show that the average PCU (Passenger Car Unit) for Bilekahalli, Arakere junction and Hulimavu junction during peak hours (9-10 am and 6-7 pm) are 8195, 8412 and 7697 respectively.

Bhat says that widening maybe inevitable given the traffic situation. "Traffic congestion is high and widening maybe required, though we are not sure if that alone will solve the problem. New malls that are coming up will only lead to more vehicles on the road," he says.

V N Rajashekar, member of the citizen’s forum Save Bangalore Committee (SBC) says, "Many malls do not have adequate parking spaces or proper entry and exit points, leading to congestion."

Meanwhile, Metro rail’s phase II alignment from Nagavara to IIM-B is also set to come on this route. The DPR is in preparation now. Asked whether Metro alignment will clash with BBMP’s flyovers, BMRC PRO Y B L Chavan said that it was a design aspect which will be covered in DPR. BBMP officials said that Metro can be elevated above the flyover or that its alignment can be moved to a different side of the road. However, no co-ordination seems to be happening between the two departments on the projects.

About Navya P K 241 Articles

Navya P K is a former senior staff journalist at Citizen Matters, and a freelance journalist based in Kerala.

10 Comments

  1. Bannerghatta Road is named as the worst road in the state (or even in India ?) and its tagged as the ’road to hell’ by polls.
    Is this going to be a never ending nightmare for Bannerghatta Road users? Now BBMP is showing some light !!

    Traffic management and educating road users etc etc are long term goals. That will not happen overnight.
    BBMP should implement it fast otherwise number of encroachments will multiply and BBMP will never get a chance to widen.
    Number of buildings affected will be more if you delay this project.
    If NHAI can do the same on Hosur road why not BBMP? BBMP should not become a soft target and just give-in to protests.

    I started loving Bangalore after I see lot of new developments happening here, once the new Gov is in place.
    Now even I changed my mind to vote for BJP next time !!

  2. Have they considered other options like proper traffic management before deciding on road widening? It is easy to say that, but there are always, to use management jargon, “low hanging fruits” which can be gotten at first to see how things go. Considering that the amount of work and inconvenience caused will be humongous with all the flyover, grade separator constructions which will drag on for the next 5-10 years, the metro construction might start around the same time. Once the metro is also there, will this wider road and signal-free corridor be necessary? Am not saying it won’t, but have they made those studies? Or is this just one more “let’s find a road that needs infrastructure work and make money out of it” scheme? Also, I can understand flyovers etc being built years ago, but right now, any such should require complete coordination with the Metro construction. At least from now, there should be *some* planning at least and not just a “let’s solve this problem first and the Metro will deal with what they find at that time, when they get to it”.

  3. We have lot of floating population in Bangalore. Until unless we stop people from villages migrating to Bangalore,
    we can not stop improving infrastructure in Bangalore. Anyway, good initiative by BBMP and BJP Gov.

  4. I came from a remote village to b’lore for job about 5 years back.
    Still in my village, just 2 buses visit and thats our only mode of transport.
    We are trying to buy a Flat in BG road for the last 2 years, not able to afford one due to high price.
    So i don’t mind moving far, and may be very near till the national park itself !
    Now just imagine what shall i do, with such kind of traffic jam? Shall I go back to my village and who fill feed my parents?
    Should I hope companies will come to my villages at some point of time?
    I have no love for any road, but when some one say, since i came here before me and well established, I will not further encorage anyone else to come?
    Yes, I agree 100% there is no displine on BG road and people violate rules. Tell me if I am stuck and it rains, will you not be tempted to drive on foodpath?
    Or you’ll let your kids and wife to sit still on bike parying to rain god?
    Sir, BG road is not the only road in b’lore and there’re remote villages like mine, where people starve !! And you say, lets have 50 years plan ??
    Ok so will you agree BBMP to take 10 feet instead of 2 feet now?

  5. Why the BBMP has no vision , no plan for at lease 50 yers ? We have seen it is expanding at lightning speed. 10 yers ago , what was the condition and now what is the situation. I don’nt think only widening will solve the problem There are roads in the world with less width having more vehicles than at present BG Road has . Traffic Management is a solution. Here the flow of traffic is here & thither . Traffic police has no control at all. People violate rules openly . Nothing happens . Every 100m there is u-turn. Every 150 m there is entry to BG Road from side toads. And humps , every 30 m ! Vehicles climb of Foot Paths ( have we one ? ). Two & 3 wheelers make every’s life in danger . A detailed study of traffic flow , reduction of u turns and entries , proper control of flow , defenitely can avoid widening. Wdening is a way to ease , but problems will prevail as long as there is no control.We want better management. Engage some specialists from developed countries to draft a scheme .

  6. YES, road from JD Mara to Meenakshi temple needs to be widened again because lot of new appartments now came up on BG road. Are you saying stop new Apts, bcos you are already staying here and you may loose your property?

  7. Some people say look at Japan, Newyork, Paris, when we talk about BG road widening !
    Those who oppose take a look at hosur road from silk-board to Ecity. This is how things work. First de-congest BG road.
    Good move by BBMP.
    or you will still say, Build another road, but don’t touch my property !! use cycle, or car only on even days !!

  8. This road from JD Mara to Meenakshi temple was widened in 2003-2004 to ease traffic congestion and now we are back to square one and there goes BBMP again – widen it more ? And when cars and malls multiply, they will have to do it again! And the stupidity of the signal free corridor where there are people moving around the roads continues. BBMP should stop trying to make movement of private cars their priority and instead look at options to reduce cars on the road. That is the only sustainable effort that will help. There are innumerable efforts in various other countries and cities and the most effective ones have been around reducing private cars in central business areas of cities.

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