Project to make ORR, Hosur Road, Silk Board Junction signal-free takes off

On 1 August 2013, within a month of state budget being presented, tenders have been called for five signal-free corridors. It has stirred a hornet’s nest again with speculations about land acquisition and traffic problems while the work is on. The last date for submission of tenders is 4 September 2013.

These five corridors cover approximately 55 km inside the city. They are:

1) Identified stretches of Hosur Road, including Central Silk Board Junction to Vellara Junction
2) Identified stretches of Outer Ring Road (ORR), from Mysore Road Junction to Central Silk Board Junction (13.4 Km);
3) From Government Soap Factory junction to Magadi Road deviation;
4) Vellara Junction to Hope Farm Junction (Via Old Airport Road, Kundalahalli and Whitefield);
5) Identified stretches along the road from Mehkri Circle to NH 648 (old NH 207 – via Old Madras Road, Hope Farm Junction and Channasandra Main Road)

These corridors need a total of 16 grade separators. Grade separator refers to a flyover or underpass at junctions that have heavy traffic. The tender advertisement also mentions “improvement of the roads” in the work required to be carried out.

The land to be acquired is already identified and Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) system will be used for compensation. Land upto a maximum of 18 feet on both sides may need to be acquired. The respective zonal offices of BBMP will identify the property and accordingly notices will be issued. (To know more about TDR, click here.)

Long-pending proposal

In 2009, Yeddyurappa government chalked out a plan for 12 signal free corridors. The 12 proposed corridors, covering 122 Km, have been on hold since 2009. Back then, the entire project was to cost Rs 22,000 Crore with financial assistance from HUDCO, BDA, state and central government.

This project was to be floated under Private Public Partnership (PPP) basis. But in 2009, one of the contractors filed a court case against BBMP for flouting rules in a tender worth Rs. 3,248 Crore.

“The aspirant alleged that BBMP did not give a fair chance to all the contractors across the globe… BBMP withdrew the tender before the closing date,” recalls K T Nagraja, Superintendent of Roads, BBMP.

However, later in 2010, the court passed a clean chit to BBMP, clearing the decks for the project.

By this time, the project cost had escalated by 47% above the original estimate. BBMP had a financial crunch and the project was put back on the shelf.  

Only two projects were completed by then, by BDA, from Town Hall to Kengeri via Sirsi Circle (15.5 km – Nayandahalli underpass) and Cubbon Road to Outer Ring Road via Kamaraj Road (8 km).

The then commissioner, Siddaiah refused to take any more loans and said the corridors have been planned without any scientific research. He also showed apprehensions on acquisition of 43 lakh sq ft of land that would cost BBMP Rs 6,000 Crore.  

Down from 12 to five

In 2012, government took a realistic approach and curbed down the number of corridors to five, however, “Later it was decided to leave it for the next government,” says R K Misra, who is part of Technical Advisory Committee of BBMP.

Previous budgets also spoke about signal free corridors, but it was got off the ground. The new government has dusted the files again and allocated Rs 618 crore for the total project.

The projects will be funded by Government of Karnataka. If required, BBMP will also invest in the project, if the costs exceed estimation.

The DPR and traffic study report prepared in 2009 are being used in the project. However, Chief Executive Engineer of Roads and Infrastructure, BBMP, S Somashekhar says, “The DPR and traffic study reports are modified by consultants (as per the current reality).”

Tenders had been called for these five corridors last year too. They have been re-tendered this year, with a strict deadline of two years.

How are the corridors made signal-free?

A two-lane road will have grade separator of standard width, that is 7.5 metres per lane. In case of corridors that run unidirectional, (traffic running one way only) two lanes will be constructed, while for bi-directional (traffic running up and down) corridors, four lanes would be constructed. Therefore bi-directional underpasses will have width approximately 15 metres (7.5 metre + 7.5 metre)

A median that divides the two lanes will be around 1.2 meters (or lesser). In case of underpass, a service road or a slip road of 5.5 meters will be provided.

For pedestrians footpaths, not less than two metres will be provided, depending on the availability of the land. Overall, each grade separator will require approximately 30 metres in length to create a signal-free corridor. The proposed five corridors will connect some important heavy-traffic junctions to peripheral areas of the city.

Approximate representation of signal free corridor of Mysore road to Silk Board.

ORR-Mysore Road junction corridor

The most expensive corridor to be built in the whole set is the ORR-Mysore Road Junction to Central Silk Board Junction stretch. The cost estimated in the tender is Rs 108.7 crores.

A unidirectional flyover will be built at the KEB junction and bi-directional underpass at Dr Mudhuraj road junction, Food World Junction and Jedimara Junction. The road running along the KEB junction to Central Silk Board Junction along Outer Ring Road will be improved. Around 81 property owners will lose their land fully or partially.

Vellara Junction to Hope Farm corridor

The corridor running between Vellara Junction to Hope Farm will acquire 154 properties, fully or partially. This corridor has a projected a total of Rs.88.9 crores.

The corridor will run along the Old Airport Road, Kundalahalli and Whitefield. Wind Tunnel Road Junction, Suranjan Das Road junction and Kundalahalli Gate junction will see construction of bi-directional underpasses. The road running between ASC Centre junction to Hope Farm will be improved.

A unidirectional underpass will be built at HP office junction for the corridor that will run between Mekhri Circle to NH 648. It will also see a bi-directional underpass at Hudi main road and  Hope Farm junction.

For this corridor, Indiranagar 100 ft road junction and NH 648 will be improved. Cost estimated for tender is Rs 99.5 crore. This plan will acquire 94 properties, fully or partially.

Silk Board to Vellara route has four grade separators.

Silk Board Junction to Vellara Junction

Tender for the corridor Central Silk Board junction to Vellara junction has bidirectional underpasses at Adugodi junction, Forum mall junction and Marigowda and Sarjapur junctions. 800 meters from Forum Mall underpass will be integrated with Sarjapur junction. Cost of the project is Rs. 72.3 crore. Around 81 properties will be acquired along the stretch, fully or partially.

Therefore once a vehicle enters Forum Mall junction, it will directly get connected to Sarjapur Road junction and then to Silk Board.

The service roads or slip roads will give flexible option for people travelling to Madiwala, National Games Village and Sarjapur.

Improvement involves civil work required to build the corridor, construction of footpaths, asphalting, gardening, widening narrow lanes as per the standard width of the lanes etc.

Soap Factory to Magadi Road Junction

The smallest signal free corridor, requires 19 properties, from Karnataka Soap Factory,  Dr Rajkumar Road to Magadi Road Junction. A unidirectional underpass will be built from Vivekananda College junction, along Dr. Rajkumar road.

The road running from the Soap Factory to Rajajinagar Entrance along the Dr. Rajkumar road will be improved and altogether it will cost  Rs 24.3 crores.

Name of the Corridor

Underpass at

Flyover at

Improvement

Estimated cost (crores)

Properties to be acquired

ORR- Mysore road junction to Central Silk board Junction.

Bi-directional at Dr. Mudhuraj road junction, Food World Junction and Jedimara Junction.

Unidirectional at KEB junction

KEB junction to Central Silk Board

Rs.108.7 crore

81

Vellara Junction to Hope farm

Bi-directional at Wind Tunnel road Junction, Suranjan Das road junction  and Kundalahalli gate junction

 

ASC Centre junction to Hope Farm

Rs. 88.9 crore

154

Mekhri Circle to NH 648

Unidirectional at HP office junction and Bi-directional underpass at Huid main road and Hope Farm junction.

 

Indiranagar 100 ft road junction and NH 648

Rs. 99.5 crore

94

Soap Factory,  Dr Rajkumar Road, Yeshwantpur Circle to Okalipuram Road.

Unidirectional from Vivekananda College junction, along with Dr. Rajkumar road.

 

Soap Factory to Rajajinagar Entrance along the Dr. Rajkumar

Rs. 24.3 crore

19

Central Silk board junction to Vellara junction

Integrated: bidirectional at Adugodi junction, Forum mall junction, Marigowda and Sarjapur junction.

   

Rs.72.3 crore

81

Five corridors: 485 properties

The currently proposed five corridors will acquire 485 private and government properties. BBMP Commissioner says: “We have requested people, whose property will be acquired, to apply for Transfer of development Rights (TDR). Failure of the same will lead to legal acquisition of land. ”

Public consultation?

It is mandatory according to the law to consult public for any public construction. But Somashekar is not aware whether any such consultation was done for these projects. He took charge two years ago. He says, “While forming the DPR, they must have consulted the public.” DPR was formulated by Manasa Consultants.

Poor response for previous tenders

Local contractors win the bid through interference of politicians but later such contractors delay the job. Like the CNR junction, near IISc is yet to be completed.

“To avoid local contractors criterias for contractors remains rigid. A certain turnover of the company is required along with past experience of such corridors,” say sources in the Tender Department of BBMP.

R K Misra, Technical Advisory Committee of BBMP, says: “The old government’s image was tainted because of corruption. No good company like L&T was interested to invest in the project and a very bad response was seen for the tenders in 2012.”

Therefore the government decided the corridors to be shelved for the new government, that might be able to pull in good contractors.

Does BBMP have funds?

Though BBMP’s opening balance in the last budget is as low as Rs.75 crore, BBMP Commissioner Laxmi Narayan was sure BBMP will fund the project if required. He said: “We do not rely on static money. BBMP has continuous flow of funds collected through revenue taxes.”

Why these five corridors?

“These corridors are well-planned. On the basis of the traffic study report as submitted by DULT this project has been approved by the state government,” says BBMP Commissioner, Laxmi Narayan.

He adds: “These projects are of great importance as Bangalore’s traffic density has increased day by day leading to choking of the lanes. These corridors will ease the choke and help people to commute easily from interior to the far flung areas. ”

About Nikita Malusare 109 Articles
Nikita Malusare is a Staff Journalist at Citizen Matters.

3 Comments

  1. Karnataka government is ready to spend crores of rupees to acquire private properties for widening of roads. However new layouts are being constructed all over Bangalore without any planning for the present or future population of the layouts.These areas have narrow roads without footpaths and the builders are selling the apartments to the gullible customers. After a couple of years, BBMP will come and demolish their houses for widening of the roads. Same story will be repeated again and again. BDA and BBMP should plan for the future keeping in mind all the needs of a modern city including water,sewage,sanitation, electricity,communication,etc.

  2. What happened to this signal free project taking off? the Bangalore elevated tollway erected from Koramangala to Electronic city was a crime perpetrated on everyone not able to use the elevated flyover across ring road at silk board. It served the purpose of the Infosys honchos who wanted a quick way to cross the ring road to get from their Koramangala to their Electronic city. They are silent after this shoddy outcome since their purpose is served. If you do an aerial comparison of the Nice road clover leaf and the Central Silk Board junction, the area occupied is the same. Where the NICE road cloverleaf manages to make all the eight interchanges smooth and signal free, the CSB junction helps the 2 privileged directions and neglects everybody else. To add insult to injury the BETL Tollway website proclaims “fly over the ground level traffic congestion between Silk Board Junction and the Electronic City Junction on the Elevated Toll Road in just under 10 minutes instead of over one Hour on the congested ground level road during peak hour!” This is absolute apathy.

  3. How do pedestrians cross the road? Hosur road supposedly won’t have skywalks, as it will have Metro rail. The traffic won’t even slow down a bit now.

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