Mysuru: Any development work has its pros and cons. While a large number of people are benefited from a particular work, be it a road, underpass or a flyover, a small group of people usually pay the price as they tend to lose their established livelihood — like in the case of the ambitious Hinkal Flyover.
While the Flyover has come as a boon to motorists, the shopkeepers, businessmen and hoteliers operating below the flyover are hit badly as they have lost business and their regular customers. Three months after the flyover opened for traffic, many shopkeepers on its either sides have vacated their outlets while some of them are in the process of vacating.
‘SOM’ Reality Check
Star of Mysore did a reality check on the Hinkal Flyover in the wake of reports that a Clover Leaf Interchange will be built on Bengaluru-Mysuru Road and Outer Ring Road Junction, near Columbia Asia Hospital that is one of the major traffic bottlenecks in the city. The reality check was aimed at gauging the usefulness and utilisation of the Hinkal Flyover where our reporter went nosing around the area to elicit public opinion. And here is what our reporter found out:
The Flyover, Mysuru’s first, was inaugurated on Dec. 23, 2018 and was constructed by Mysuru Urban Development Authority (MUDA) on a crucial road that links Mysuru to Kodagu via Hunsur. The total expenditure of the completion of the works is Rs. 23.5 crore. The flyover begins from Hinkal Tent till Grand Maurya Hotel.
Speaking to SOM yesterday, many shopkeepers, small-time vendors and hoteliers said that the flyover has ruined their lives. “We have taken loans to build our shops and establish our business. What we are managing now is to pay the loan interest and we have no way to clear the principal loan amount,” they said.
Kushalappa, who runs Nisarga Darshini Hotel on the road, said that the flyover has doomed his business. “When the project was launched, they told us the project will be completed within 8 months. But they took three years to complete the project. All these days we were living amidst dust, muck and bad smell. We hoped that business will pick up after the flyover opens but it is not the case,” he said.
Shops closed down
Already at least 15 shops have closed down due to lack of business and many more shops will close down in coming days. “Hinkal Junction was a commercial hub and this flyover has changed equations. Earlier we had roaring business and even small spaces were in great demand. Now, it is just opposite with no business,” said Manjunath, a plywood trader on the road.
The worst affected are small businesses and footpath vendors. As per plan, the footpaths on both sides of the road had to be levelled and widened for the vehicles to park. But MUDA has not widened the road and no one stops here, allege the shop-keepers.
Krishna, a tyre shop owner worries that if the same situation continued, most of the shopkeepers will leave the place. “While businesses are hit hard, eve the shop owners who have given their outlets on rent and landlords are losing out on revenue,” he said.
If this is the case of businessmen, commuters are happy that the flyover has put a permanent full stop for unending traffic jams on the busy Hunsur Road stretch. “Vehicles including buses cross over smoothly now and earlier this was not the case,” said Ankegowda, a senior citizen. But he too conceded that the business atmosphere has been lost. He recalled that people used to come to Hinkal Junction from faraway places to buy certain things that were only available here.
“Earlier, there were massive traffic jams with buses, cars
Adding to the woes of businessmen, there is no designated place to park their vehicles. “We were told that once the flyover is built, parking will be allowed below. But if we park our vehicles there, Police either tow them away or impose fine. We are tired of running to Police Stations to recover our vehicles,” another shop-keeper added.