Everyday, commuters get stuck on either side of the railway gate on Sarjapur Road at Mullur, thanks to around 30 trains that pass through. Commuters taking this route curse their predicament as they have no other option.
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During peak hours, the vehicle pile up extends almost a kilometre on either side of the gate. Office commuters, school vans, BMTC buses – everyone has to queue up. Most often, it is the school buses that get stuck at peak hour. “Everyday, we get late by 30 or 40 minutes. Even after the gate is opened, it takes half an hour to get out of this traffic block. We don’t have any other option but to take the road,” said Sreekanth N, India International School’s bus driver.
The railway gatekeeper Ponnuswami M watches the pile up every day. “Around thirty trains pass by this cross every day, which includes 12 passenger trains and the rest are goods services. Constructing an underpass or flyover can solve the traffic problem,” says the gatekeeper.
The criterion for sanctioning a flyover or underpass at a railway crossing is the Train Vehicle Unit (TVU) should be more than one lakh. TVU is obtained by multiplying the number of vehicles passing through the cross with the number of trains. The railways say the TVU is more than one lakh at the Sarjapur level cross. So a flyover or underpass is a must there.
Hari Babu, Senior Divisional Engineer, Southern Railway, says they have already got a proposal from the state government for a flyover construction. He says “We are going to construct the flyover with the State government contributing 50 percent of the cost. We will start the works as soon as possible.”⊕