How many are aware of the (fairly) recent approval for 5 signal free corridor to be developed within Bangalore city limits?! How many of us are aware on how much of our daily routes are gonna be messed up because of this plan? Lemme warn all those happily ignorant victims that the proposed plan pass through some amazingly important & some infamously heavy clogged junctions.
The proposed five signal free corridors are: (with emphasis on routes of interest to IT folks)
- Dr Rajkumar Road (from Yeshwanthpur Circle to Okalipuram),
- OuterRingRoad (from Mysore Road to Central Silk Board junction),
- Hosur Road(from Central Silk Board to Vellara Junction),
- Old Airport Road (from Vellara junction to Whitefield via Kundalahalli), and
- Mehkri Circle to Hope Farm (via Old Madras Road, Ulsoor Lake and KR Puram junction).
I marked the places of interest to many of the victims on the maps below:
Though one side of me is in full support at the idea of a signal free corridor. Imagine driving all the way from, say, Nayandahalli till Silk-Board and eventually to your office on ORR within 30 mins!!! Man who would not love it?! I am shedding tears of joy with even just the thought! But… But… But what the heck are they thinking??! This is not working! You can’t simply plan to expand. Not if the words “silk board junction” appear in your plans. No never! Sik Board is just out of reach of any mindless city planner even with good intentions. Please don’t touch it!
Anyways, allow me to zoom onto these stretches and see what the proposed plan is:
The Necessary Monster
Silk “THE wild beast” board junction is the untamed dinosaur that is the result of a few mentally challenged uneducated literates choosing the layout & dimensions on roll of a dice! This junction is the necessary monster which bears in its womb debatably one of the highest crisscrossing of millions of vehicles throughout the day. As it is never practically possible to predict the traffic flow through any junction prior to its construction but the mess that is today at Silk board junction transcends such lenient thoughts from the commuters.
There have been occasions, actually more frequent than the world likes to believe, when the effect of traffic snarl at Silk Board Jn has been seen, felt & experienced near Intel office (nearly 8KM away)!!!!! I would rather stay at office till 10 pm if I can avoid Silk Board traffic during peak hour.
Given this information, let us understand what is the immediate effect/impact of the new proposed signal free corridor is. JAM! Irreparable Jam! Presently, daily commuters take nearly 90 mins to go from Intel Campus to, say, JP Nagar 6th Phase, a distance of less than 15Km. Imagine what will happen during the construction of these signal free corridor stuff!! The travel time of those who gonna take those routes are gonna increase, at the very least, 2 folds! So, you gonna take nearly 2:30 to 3 hours to travel the measly 15Km to go to your home. Imagine the working wives!! Esp those who gotta go back home & cook for their husband! Or worst, imagine working parents who gotta teach their kids once back home!!!
[important]IMPACT: ORRCA employees cannot even imagine spare time during weekdays![/important]
Financial impact, you say?! Well, yes. I think it is fairly obvious that such radical and not-well thought through plans have extreme financial impact on both the government &, more importantly, on the victims. If you still wonder what the heck I am talking about? Well lets see.
Immediate impact is gonna be on the fuel budget. With the raising fuel cost and burning of fuel just waiting for the previous car to move is gonna burn a huge hole in the pocket. Worst is if you own a house in Bannerghatta Road or JP Nagar then your EMI + the raising fuel cost is gonna definitely raise your BP!! For all obvious reason we cannot calculate the exact impact in Rupees but an estimate of a meager one litre extra / day is approximately equal to 22 ltrs extra / month. In today’s cost, the financial impact is about 1800/month.
If both are working then the possibility of packing lunch to office diminishes with every extra minute on the road. If your travel is gonna be around 3 hrs to/fro office then there is no chance of preparing lunch, which means a direct 40~60 per day per person extra for the poorly cooked office cafeteria lunch. Assuming you always take only office food, we are talking about nearly 80~120 per day (per couple) extra. In better words, putting in a perspective that we can understand this amounts to another extra litre (or more) of petrol per day just to go to office!!! So, rounding this off to one litre of petrol per day, again, the financial impact is another 1800/month.
How about factoring in a child? Obviously, the parents cannot return back in time to take care of the child. Just to reiterate how their everyday life is gonna be. They leave home around 8 am (coz kids school bus comes around 7:45) and reach office around 9:30 or so. This means a regular IT employee leaves between 5:45 to 6:30. With the given possibility of road expansion, they can’t reach home until 8:45 or 9! So now what happens to the kid until then? Who takes care of the kid? The only possibility. The only possibility is to keep a nanny. Preferably a stay-in nanny. The starting rate for a stay-in nanny is Rs. 5000/month!
Assuming that no health problems arise out of the extreme stress driving to/fro the crowded, busy, messy streets for 3 hrs every day. I am not counting in the possibility of repairing the dents and the scratches in your car. Also not accounting the possibility of not able to concentrate at work because of the stress & tiredness, which, obviously, reflect on your performance rating! 😉 Without all these indirect probabilities, if we count only the direct possibilities then we get Rs. 8600/month for a couple going to office in only one car!! Do I need to explain more on how much is this worth it? 🙂 🙂 🙂
[important]IMPACT: ORRCA employees should not even imagine savings for the next couple of months to 2 years![/important]
Real estate impact
Well, this is where it is getting better! If all that I noted above isn’t enough then check the following information. Land acquisition. BBMP will acquire a good amount of land to complete this plan. And, how will they do it? Acquire a few properties, of course! 🙂 Lemme run through the previous list from the proposed route map but with additional details.
- Dr Rajkumar Road (from Yeshwanthpur Circle to Okalipuram) BBMP will acquire 19 properties and around 29,048 sq ft.
- OuterRingRoad (from Mysore Road to Central Silk Board junction) will acquire 137 properties with 93,594 sq ft land.
- Hosur Road(from Central Silk Board to Vellara Junction). They will obtain 81 properties and the size of the land will be 99,973 sq ft.
- Old Airport Road (from Vellara junction to Whitefield via Kundalahalli), 154 properties will be acquired for this stretch, approximately 3,73,845 sqft of land and
- Mehkri Circle to Hope Farm (via Old Madras Road, Ulsoor Lake and KR Puram junction), 94 properties will be acquired for this stretch which will be around 1,65,084 sqft of land.
So how much of acquisition are we talking about? Well… it is just about 485 properties equalling around 761,544 sq ft will be acquired. That is around 17.5 acres of prime land, which assuming Rs. 6000/sft is around Rs. 456 crores!!! The entire project is expected to cost around Rs. 795 crores. This means they got around Rs. 339 crores to lay the 65 Kms with prominent flyovers & underpasses!! Does that maketh sense?! 🙂 You know what this means? If you got a property on any of these proposed routes, sell! Sell big time! Any which case you are in for a huge surprise when you come back from a nice vacation! 🙂 🙂
[important]IMPACT: Own a property on the main road?!! All the best. Pray to God.[/important]
Impact on neighbouring peaceful communities
Well this is one of my other interesting topic. How the routes of regular commuters change when some ever delaying road constructions go on busy roads? For instance, from my own experience I had seen that during the construction of Ibblur-Sarjapur Road flyover most of the ORRCA employees going towards Bommanahalli through Silk board rerouted via Sarjapur Road through Hosa Road. When they realized Hosa road junction is getting clogged, they started using the Harlur Road. Then via HSR to Harlur Road to Hosur Road. Another example is to Bannerghatta Road via Harlur Road to Hosur Road to Begur Main road to Vijaya Bank layout to Bannerghatta Road. What has essentially happened is that these otherwise not crowded roads have become part of daily routes for 1000s of people.
So, now extrapolate the above ‘one flyover’ example to dozens of flyovers (or/and underpasses) from Silk board Jn to Mysore Road! Well, if you think our BBMP folks would have learnt from their previous mistakes and take up the project one flyover at a time? Then revisit your understanding of our heros. According to our city in-charge minister Ramalinga Reddy, as published on The Hindu, this entire project should be done within 2 to 4 months!!! Assuming it will really take only 2~4 months only, what routes do you think our simple victims gonna take? Honestly, I can’t imagine! As is BTM layout & Ragigudda temple segment is nearly impossible navigate and now a road widening as well as a signal free work is gonna start! These seem no other alternate route to take.
[important]IMPACT: Peaceful residential areas will suffer from noise & air pollution![/important]
Simple. Relocate your homes into the office cubicles. 🙂
I mean, what else can be done? We can also raise concerns. Try to get stay order. Blah. Blah. Blah. But, let us be responsible citizens and realize that this freak show on the long run is (hopefully) gonna do good to Bangalore and for our Bangalorean children.
- The Hindu – Six Bangalore roads to get wider, five more to be signal free
- The New Indian Express
- Deccan Herald – BBMP to acquire 485 properties for signal-free corridor project
- Common Floor – 485 properties to be acquired by BBMP for signal free corridors
- Citizen Matters – Project to make ORR, Hosur Road, Silk Board Junction signal-free takes off