Expedite underpasses works on Outer Ring Road, says expert
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Expedite underpasses works on Outer Ring Road, says expert

June 11, 2017

Mysuru: Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has been urged to expedite the long-pending Railway underpasses across the existing Railway Over Bridges on the Mysuru Outer Ring Road (ORR). A letter has been written to the Minister in this regard by city-based civil engineer V.N. Prasad, who highlights how crucial projects in Mysuru, one of the fastest growing cities in India, are neglected.

The ORR project is funded by Government of India under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (80%), Government of Karnataka (10%) and Mysuru Urban Development Authority (10%). The ORR is approximately 42 km in length and this upgradation project was divided into 5 packages. The project includes 6-lane carriageways — 3 lanes on either side with a median in between. Service Roads are provided over 31.2 km length. There are three existing ‘Railway Over Bridges’ on the ORR.

According to Prasad, the existing Railway Over Bridges (ROBs) — one each on Hassan, Bengaluru and Nanjangud sections — need reconstruction to accommodate the design of the new 6-lane road, median and service roads.  Railway Ministry has inordinately delayed reconstruction works due to several bureaucratic tangles. While the six lanes and service roads are complete, the works to widen the three existing underpasses have been pending since a long time, thanks to the lack of planning and gross indifference by Indian Railways, the letter stated.

Logically, the upgradation of all the three ROBs had to be undertaken simultaneously with the six-lane works of the ORR and the service roads. Non-implementation of works by the Railways is causing traffic bottlenecks at the existing structures, the letter explained.

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This is one glaring example of lack of coordination between government agencies. Actually, the ORR should have been completed after the Railways completed the structural upgradation works. In this case, it is sadly the other way round, says Prasad.

Prasad has requested the Railway Minister to direct his officials to complete widening of the underpass works in the Hassan, Bengaluru and Nanjangud sections at the earliest and pave way for smooth flow of traffic. He has added that the non-widening of the over-bridges causes continuous traffic jams, defeating the very purpose of constructing a Ring Road.

V.N. Prasad is an independent consultant for highways and bridges and is a project management consultant (retired). A civil engineer with specialisation in design of highways and bridges, Prasad has served in African countries for over 13 years and also served on highway projects in India.

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