To commute from her house in Koramangala 3rd Block to her office in Sulikunte, Preety R has to go through Sarjapur Main Road from St. Francis School junction towards Agra lake. Ideally, her commute should be no more than 45 minutes, but for the past five months, it been taking her at least an hour-and-a-half. The problem area is the three-kilometre stretch from Koramangala water tank junction to Agra lake junction.
Commuters taking the Sarjapur road have been facing a lot of hardship driving on this stretch as the road has been dug up and left unfilled after the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) began work to replace a pipeline.
“Work began months ago, but was temporarily put on hold because of the Assembly elections. Then it started again in June. Though they agency completed the work over a month ago, the road has not been relaid. Less than half of the road is now available for motorists on this busy stretch. Traffic jams have become the order of the day,” said Samuel, a resident of HSR Layout, who travels on the stretch every day.
Now with the recent spate of rains, the entire road has become a nightmare for commuters. “While the road after Agra lake junction was recently tarred, this stretch till Agra lake junction has been ignored. We don’t even know who to complain to,” he added.
A BWSSB official said that the agency had paid the required amount to BBMP. “The BBMP has said that work on relaying the road will be taken up next week,” said the official.
This lack of coordination between the two civic agencies, BWSSB and BBMP, is an inconvenience to residents and motorists in several parts of the city.
In Kothanur, after the Hennur flyover, for instance, the BWSSB has taken up work to lay new pipelines till Bagalur. “Half of the road is dug up and traffic has become a huge issue. Work has been going on for some months now, and there is no indication of when it will get over. This an already busy road and civic work on such arterial stretches need to be given priority and completed on war footing,” said Latha A., a resident of the area.
Horamavu councillor Radhamma Venkatesh said that it will take another three months for the work to be completed. “This is a major pipe laying work by BWSSB. I have been receiving a lot of complaints about traffic pile-ups and spoken to the traffic police to man the stretch. But, it is unavoidable. People should cooperate,” she said.
Residents of Defence Colony have been waiting for the last nine months for roads in the neighbourhood to be relaid. BWSSB had taken up work to replace the sewer pipelines in the area in the beginning of the year, after which the road has not been repaired.
“We have knocked on everyone’s door to get the roads redone, but in vain,” said Ashok Sharath, member of Defence Colony Residents’ Association (DECORA).
The roads are in even worse condition now after the rains, he said. “The BBMP has promised to float tenders to take up the job, but it may take months before we see a change. The residents of the neighbourhood have been suffering due to the lack of coordination between BBMP and BWSSB,” he added.