When I thought of writing this article my intention was to cover the 100 Feet Road Indiranagar, Inner Ring Road (IRR), and 100 Feet Road Koramangala from end to end, starting from Binnamangala and ending in Madiwala. I planned to cover the whole distance to write about citizens’ worries in traversing this road. When I went on the ground to find more details, I didn’t go beyond 100 feet road Indiranagar. There was so much content in the first 2.7 kilometres itself that it was needless to go beyond!
The white topping work on the 100 feet road started about eight months ago. It is an important road connecting the eastern part of the city to Koramangala, and further through the Inner Ring Road (IRR), connecting companies located on the IRR as well further on Hosur Road and beyond. It is quite a busy road, especially during peak hours. Currently, vehicular traffic from Old Madras Road is also being diverted to the intersection at CMH Road.
This was an erstwhile residential area, which is highly commercialised now. One can find stores of many brands as well as several eateries and pubs on either side of the road on this stretch that is less than 2.7 kilometres in length. It is also a highly popular place. One can see young crowds thronging the place on all days, especially during weekends.
Read more: How roads are built in Bengaluru. Or not
Issues with TenderSURE work at Indiranagar
Indiranagar, as a whole, has been a mess in the last couple of years. This is due to ongoing works at some road or the other that goes on at a snail’s pace. With different parastatals such as BWSSB, BESCOM etc. digging away the same road at different times, there seems to be no method to the madness. In comparison, the work on the 100 feet road has been much faster, since the work started less than a year ago.
While starting any major work, the least an urban local body (ULB) can do is to make sure that the alternate routes that will be used by citizens are in decent shape. This was not done. Citizens were not only inconvenienced with alternate routes, but also bad roads. The work on the entire stretch was not completed. Yet in December of 2022, half of the road was inaugurated by the sitting MLA S. Raghu with great fanfare.
The TenderSURE work seems nowhere near completion, and in its current condition, it is a disaster waiting to happen. There are gaping holes in many places. Construction and demolition (C&D) waste is accumulated or spread across in several places. Construction material from the TenderSURE work, as well as material from building construction, is neatly stacked in some places and haphazardly thrown around in other places.
Uday, residents of one of the few residential units on the road, says: “It’s been eight months since it has been a mess. I have made temporary arrangements for accessing the road, but I can’t bring my car inside as the road scrapes the underside of my car. On top of it, the traffic police keeps issuing tickets as parking is not allowed on the road. Now, my house is at a much lower level than the road, but I don’t mind at least complete the work at the earliest. We are kind of stuck in this for a long time. I don’t mind the height of the road, access to my house etc. but I just want this to end please!”
A shopkeeper, at one of the stores on the road, says: “We have lost 50% of our regular sales due to this work as well as the festival sales that we make. We have not received any information on when this work would get completed. They created a Whatsapp group. They do not send any updates regarding the work, but send information when the politicians visit. The work is going at a snail’s pace. Workers/JCB come do something and for a long time nothing happens. After two months of completing the road, they dug up the footpath and since then work has been on and off. Our only request is to please complete this at the earliest”.
Some observations from my visit to the road:
- At some stretches of the road, mainly in front of some stores, the road, pavement, and footpath are contiguous and well laid.
- The situation is worse at intersections and where junction boxes of BESCOM and other companies are placed, with big trenches, C&D waste, cables etc. all merging together and creating a big dangerous mess.
- The height difference between intersections/roadside and the 100 feet road is six inches or more at many places, creating difficulties for vehicular movement.
- As usual the common man is the most impacted due to this work. The access to the Doopanahalli skywalk is completely cut off. The bus stops do not have a proper floor and citizens have to find their way through debris.
- At some places, barricades have been placed haphazardly to avoid vehicular accidents, which somehow did not seem to reduce the risk of accidents.
- The road is a combination of stretches of concrete, bitumen, and soil. Some stretches are yet to be concretised.
- On the 100 feet road, I was unable to find a contiguous 100 feet stretch, which didn’t pose any danger to anyone.
Another couple, long term residents of Indiranagar, says: “Compared to the work on CMH & 80 Feet Roads, the work on the 100 Feet Road has been faster. Once the whole place is ready, we think it will be world class and a great stretch to enjoy a walk. We have waited several years already, hope we don’t have to wait too long to enjoy our peace and quiet”.
I sincerely hope that the work gets completed soon and everyone can go back to business as usual. In its current form, this stretch of road is a minefield posing grave danger to citizens and commuters.
This article is part of the Citizen Journalism for Changemakers-CJC Programme, which was conducted from February to March 2023. This programme was supported by Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies.