Roots threaten to pry apart slabs, damaging structural integrity of a people-friendly project
Mysore/Mysuru: Five years have passed since the grand inauguration of the Mysuru-Hunsur Road and Outer Ring Road grade separator at Hinkal which is Mysuru’s maiden flyover. Yet, this facility of development now stands as a testament to administrative indifference and neglect. The once-proud structure, designed to streamline traffic flow from all directions, now languishes in a state of disrepair, a victim of administrative apathy.
Neglected maintenance has opened up gaps on the sides and top slabs, providing fertile ground for the unchecked growth of more than 90 peepal tree plants. These resilient plants, with roots sinking deeper each day, are on the verge of shaking the very foundation of the flyover, built by the Mysuru Urban Development Authority (MUDA) at an estimated cost of Rs. 23.52 crore.
The very roots that nourish these trees threaten to pry apart the slabs, a silent assault on the structural integrity of an infrastructure. As the trunks of these plants grow bigger, they contribute to an impending danger that looms larger with each passing day.
Opened on Dec. 23, 2018
The Hinkal flyover was declared open Dec. 23, 2018 by the then Mysuru District Minister G.T. Devegowda (current Chamundeshwari MLA), in the presence of Mysuru-Kodagu MP PratapSimmha and other dignitaries.
The total length of the flyover is 580 metres and the total width of four-lane road is 17.20 metres. There are service roads of 6.00 metres width on both sides with footpaths of minimum width 1.50 metres. The works on the flyover began on April 27, 2016 (formal commencing date June 22, 2016). The flyover begins from Hinkal Tent till Grand Maurya Hotel.
The project for construction of the grade separator at the Mysuru-Hunsur Road junction with Outer Ring Road was taken up after the intersection saw increase in traffic. Work on the project, which received its approval under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, began in June 2016.
But even as the heavy vehicles have been moving on the flyover and there is free traffic flow on the service roads below that connect all the major localities, with no traffic jams, maintenance issues are haunting the user-friendly structure. The flyover is a real boon to Mysureans as there was always traffic chaos at this junction earlier.
Menace of reckless driving
Beyond the upkeep of the flyover itself, chaos ensues in the junction area where the flyover terminates towards Mysuru and the space beneath it branching towards Bogadi, R.T. Nagar and the Ring Road. This convergence point of four roads has become a place for disorderly traffic.
Reckless driving compounds the issue, with vehicles careening in from all directions. Despite the presence of a Circle, vehicles show no regard for caution. Barricades meant to enforce speed control on the Ring Road fail to deter speeding, as vehicles dangerously accelerate upon entering the flyover zone tocross over.
Adding to the precarious situation, cement bricks lie haphazardly stockpiled below the flyover, while garbage obstructs the smooth flow of traffic. Commuters have demanded an immediate resolution to this mess, urging the swift removal of debris and cement blocks. Their plea extends to the installation of reflective barriers, a simple yet crucial measure for enhanced visibility and safety.
Bad service roads, lacking footpaths
The service roads flanking both sides of the flyover suffer from dilapidated conditions, characterised by worn out surfaces exposing jelly stones and a glaring absence of footpaths. The deteriorated portions of the service roads bear the brunt of indiscriminate parking, further exacerbating the already compromised road quality.
Notably, the absence of a dedicated footpath is conspicuous. The available space that could serve as a pedestrian walkway is either usurped by parked vehicles or cluttered with an assortment of signboards, standee banners and mannequins displayed by cloth and apparel stores. This encroachment not only diminishes the accessibility of the area for pedestrians but also creates a hazardous environment due to the lack of defined pathways.