November 28, 2005

Bangalore Roads: Sponsored by Motocross Deve Gowda

We hear from sources that furious bidding is on for sponsorship of a certain stretch of K H Road, more commonly known as Double Road, in Bangalore. Among the strong contenders are: i) The Motocross Association of Shantinagar which claims that this portion of the road is ideally suited for daily contests to determine which vehicle rider can successfully negotiate the potholes and sandfills; ii) The Tyre-Sellers’ Association of Mavalli which has promised to build a place of worship in honour of the pothole deity; iii) The Practising Orthopaedics’ Forum of Bangalore which feels that this stretch has sent in the most patients in the September-December quarter and iv) The Driving School Instructors’ Association of Bangalore which says this is the best way for drivers to learn the art of negotiating potholes, but not lose your balance, mental and otherwise.
Musical chair in the middle of road

Last week, in the middle of the bustling Station Road in Hubli, some chairs were kept and a few grown-ups were busy playing musical chairs unmindful of the zipping vehicles. Passers-by stared at them, while drivers tried hard to avoid them. The curious wanted to know what they were up to. The game was up then. The few who were disrupting the traffic were in fact conscientious citizens, trying a unique way of protesting against the pothole-riddled or non-existent roads in the city, and dust pollution. The others had no choice but to join the game and support the cause.
This is the condition of one of the major roads in Peenya, where about 50 per cent of Bangalore’s apparel export factories are located. Factory owners and the area residents say this road, like many others in the area, has been in this state for a year and nothing has been done so far. Added to the misery, the already damaged roads have become worse, thanks to the rain. Bad roads have seriously affected export activities as representatives of foreign companies refuse to travel on these roads, they add. These pictures were sent to The Times of India by Gokaldas Exports.

SP Road left in the lurch
Bangalore: Sadar Patrappa Road (SP Road), one of the major roads in the busy City Market area, was dug up by the BMP during October to concretise the stretch. But till date, the stretch lies in a battered state as the concretisation work has not moved an inch forward. “Traders of Silver Jubilee Park Road (SJP Road) and SP Road have been struggling for survival. The trade on these roads has practically come to a halt. Thanks to the huge craters, potholes, slush and dug-up stretches, vehicle users avoid this stretch and twowheelers drive at their own risk,’’ said B K Goyal, secretary of Federation of Trade Associations of Central Bangalore.
   The concreting work of SP Road was launched on October 1, but even after more than 55 days, the road still lies dug up, full of slush and with open trench on one side.
   The condition of the adjacent SJP Road is no better as the road is enveloped with layers of fine dust which is causing health problems to the traders. And less said the better about the stretch when it rains, inviting slush all over. Traders complain that their business has come down by 50% in the last few months.
   The project to concretise SJP Road was launched on November 21 by BMP after the traders protested and blocked the road. But now they are apprehensive about the project as several such projects had got kicked off in the area only to be dropped mid-way.

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