Mysuru: Crores of rupees spent on beautifying the ‘Raja Marga’ with ornate stone balustrades and retaining its rich heritage, seems to have gone waste as the ‘Raja Marga’ is lying in a shambles.
The Raja Marga commences from Jayachamaraja Wadiyar Circle (Hardinge Circle) and ends at Bannimantap. With lakhs of tourists, both domestic and foreign visiting the city every year, the authorities planned to convert the entire path on which Dasara procession passes through, into a ‘Raja Marga’ also called Rajapatha.
The works on the Raja Marga commenced in 2011 out of the Chief Minister’s special grant for Mysuru, out of which Rs.16 crore was granted for the first phase of ‘Raja Marga’ works.
Chhabria Associates, which secured the tender for the Raja Marga works, began executing the project in 2011. But the works progressed at a snail’s pace for many reasons, with the works being completed till Ayurveda College Circle three years ago.
But this developed road has deteriorated so badly that it can no more be called as Raja Marga, with granite slabs on the footpath coming apart and the stone balustrades that separate the road from the footpath crumbling like a pack of cards.
The authorities, in a bid to ‘repair’ the deteriorating road, re-concreted the stretch but the tiles along the footpath have come apart, making it pedestrian unfriendly.
The Raja Marga, which commenced amidst a lot of controversy, has also ended with controversy, as the works have not been fully completed and the contractor washing his hands off.
Even as Raja Marga is in poor shape, the balusters erected at the edge of the road have been damaged by vehicles while parking and the others by some miscreants.
The damaged balusters which act as a barricade and the damaged tiles have been dumped at MCC Zone-1 Office premises.
While the ‘Raja Marga’ stretch itself is in poor shape, the footpath along the royal road is occupied by street vendors. As the footpaths are blocked at most points, the pedestrians are finding it difficult to walk.
Despite the road at the heart of the city lying in a shambles, the MCC authorities seem to be little bothered about the inconvenience caused to the tax-paying citizens.
Meanwhile, MCC Commissioner K.H. Jagadeesha said that measures will be taken to restore broken balusters.
MCC Zone 1 Development Officer Rudresh Kumar said that the matter is in a City Court and as such, no measures can be taken right now to restore the Raja Marga.
The main reason for the crumbling of ornate balustrades is that vehicles are found crashing into the barricades during late night, he added.