Chandru Kumar, a resident who lived off Mysore Road near Nayandahalli junction in Bengaluru is a disgruntled man today. Thanks to the non-coordination between Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) and Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), Chandru Kumar and 69 others had to lose their land to make way for the pending flyover on Mysore Road on Outer Ring Road junction.
Chandru Kumar had never imagined four years ago that he had to sacrifice his land for the new flyover coming up near the junction of Outer Ring Road and Mysore Road. There was ample space on the road for the flyover, and everything appeared fine, until the Metro started its construction.
BDA flyover path hijacked by Metro
Metro got its path re-aligned to leave some properties on the right side of the road unacquired. Chandru Kumar says: “When the people on the other side of the road agitated, Metro was shifted to the centre of the road, thus leaving no space for the bridge. Now the flyover needs more space on the left to not only accommodate the bridge but also a service road.”
The road has to be further pushed approximately 30 feet inside. Resultantly, the re-aligned track came to the centre of the road, which clashed with BDA’s flyover plan.
Finally BDA had to budge and stop construction, to make way for Metro. Fresh land acquisition was required to complete the pending flyover that stopped midway.
Chandrakumar is yet to receive the compensation for the lost land. His was the last property to be demolished, among 70 properties that were acquired and demolished in last eight months. This will now allow the long-pending flyover to complete.
It has been two years now since the second level of the multi-level flyover to be constructed at Nayandahalli remains half-built. Officials blame the Metro for delaying the final re-alignment drawings of the Metro track, which was shifted from the side to the centre of the road, leaving no space for the bridge to descend.
The elevated flyover required acquisition of 70 properties. The owners have been notified and properties have been demolished. Most of these property owners had built shops and rented it to others. The shoppers who rented the shops had to find another place without any compensation, as their owners are the ones who will get the compensation.
No compensation yet for the land-losers
Chandru Kumar had shops of his own which he has lost now. He says: “Last year, we were asked to take land somewhere else as compensation, but we are yet to get it. What should I do with a land which is far away from this place where I have toiled hard for the past 10 years. I started my business from a single shop to a double floor. People know me here, how can I shift my business? I have 10 employees depending on this shop, who will lose their work. Once the flyover comes, nobody likes to come under it. This will cause loss to us.”
Chandru Kumar tried running from pillar to post to safeguard his land. He sought help from MLA and corporators, but nothing happend. Now he is struggling to get the compensation. He was offered a land of size 1200 sq ft, and had a chance to choose any of the BDA’s layouts. Banashankari 6th stage, Sir M V Layout, Anjanapura and Hosakerehalli Layout were the chosen layouts by the BDA.
He could even opt for monetary compensation of Rs. 1,20,20,461/- for 3540 sqft he lost. The notification by the BDA shows that he was asked to collect the compensation before January 15th 2014. However, he alleges that BDA officials did not favour speedy compensation, by making him running from one office to another.
Chandru Kumar is not alone. Many others who lost land have the same story to tell.
Flyovers and underpasses couldn’t ease traffic
The junction has three important tracks: 1) A half-built flyover 2) A fully functional flyover connecting the ORR from Banashankari to Mysore Road which is in perpendicular axis to the former 3) The Metro. The road underneath all these continues to wriggle under heavy traffic.
Thanks to the asphalting work undertaken last year, now the road is in a better condition than before with less potholes, but it doesn’t end the misery. Huge piles of soil and gravel still lie on either side of the road all the time.
The most important sight is the sharp left turn Metro reach-2 line (Leprosy Hospital to Mysore road) takes, a few meters away from the main junction, to reach the Nayandahalli station, thus obstructing the path of the flyover.
Scene from two years ago
Vaidya R, a traveller on this road, who had moved to Bangalore from Seattle wrote in 2012, explaining the misery the construction of the two new flyovers and the Metro has caused.
He said, “Let’s not even talk of the flyover at level two (the half built flyover), along the other direction. They built pillars, one after the other until the Metro beat them to the spot and put up their own pillars where the flyover should have descended. Funny to read in fiction. Can’t decide whether to laugh or cry in real.”
“Of all the flyovers, grade separators that have been sanctioned, built or being constructed, this is the one that was most necessary and should have happened when the link road was connected to Mysore road. It speaks volumes about the lack of planning or vision, as neither the BDA nor BBMP foresaw this state of extreme congestion at the Nayandahalli junction and finished the job years ago!”
Criss-crossing network of overbridges
BDA had awarded the construction of multi-level flyover work connecting Outer Ring Road to Tumkur Nice road and Gnanabharathi to Nayandahalli, to NCC Limited in September 2010, with two years’ time for the completion.
The Outer Ring Road flyover is 18 feet high. Above this lies the half-constructed flyover of 960 meter from Indian Oil at Gnanabharathi to Hitech hospital at Nayandahalli, running on a horizontal perpendicular plane, at a height of 36 ft, parallel to Metro track. The cost of two flyovers was Rs. 86.75 crore. The tallest structure at this junction is the Namma Metro.
‘Metro did not cause delay’
When enquired with the BDA officials whether the cost escalated due to delay, P N Nayak Engineer member of BDA said, “No, the cost of construction has not escalated as the project was given on turnkey basis.”
For the delay in the work, Nayak did not blame the Metro. He said, “There was no lack of coordination between the Metro and us. Initially the reason for our delay was Metro as they took time to finalise the modifications in their drawings. However, later, the process of land acquisition was delayed because our officers were busy with the election duty.” He said, “In another three months, the work will get completed.”
Earlier when Indian Express reported in February 3rd 2014 about the delay in completing the project, BDA Commissioner T Sham Bhat said that the project will be completed in three months. After three months, the flyover still remains a pipedream.
Bizarre saga of a Mysore Road mess
How to improve traffic on Mysore Road
Sad part is that even after they complete this, they’ll still be left with a mess. Of the four directions from this junction, the one towards Tumkur road is a clean run, but there is the pile-up near Nandini Layout, for which a flyover is being built there, which will push the pile up to Tumkur Road junction. But this, along with the BHEL side are the trouble-free sides. The BHEL side would benefit from the new roadtowards Gali Anjaneya from Attiguppe/Deepanjalinagar, and also the widening that Mysore Road has seen. The one towards Banashankari sees pile ups near the Veerabhadreshwara signal, and this might need fixing too. (But they do seem to have managed the signals well there, to BTP’s credit. Some fixing of the roads can help. Otherwise it is a huge mess and a regular accident spot). The last side, towards Rajarajeshwari gate will only end up pushing all the traffic to RR nagar signal. That junction badly needs an overhaul in terms of road conditions. It is a huge mess thanks to BBMP. Either way, it only proves that piecemeal flyovers and underpasses only fix the problem piecemeal and just push it to the next junction. We see the regular mess at Silk Board where all the traffic that courses through the signal-free flyovers from Marathahalli hit an abrupt stop for close to 30 mins everyday. Unfortunately the solution seems only in reducing the number of vehicles on the road, but that’s the elephant in the room.