Saga of ‘road hump’
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Saga of ‘road hump’

February 8, 2024

South Gate of Manasagangothri, injuries, loss of precious lives, damages  to vehicles, trauma et al.

By V.N. Prasad

At the outset, my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and sympathies to the injured ones. Don’t worry. No one will be brought to books, much less punished.

However, high time a strong ‘engineering jurisprudence’ was put in place to fix culpability through court procedures; akin to medical jurisprudence. The sooner the better.

Coming to the case in question, ‘idiosyncrasy’ is an understatement. Bizarre thoughts and actions; all bereft of fundamental engineering brains. Disgusting indeed and at what cost? Yes, there are umpteen issues in this traffic junction, no doubt. But the solutions were ‘slipshod’  to say the least.

The learned Vice-Chancellor of the University of Mysore (UoM) must have been disturbed seeing the chaotic junction, criss-crossing traffic, accidents etc. While there was nothing wrong with his request for a solution from the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC), everything was wrong that followed, in engineering terms.

Now, let me summarise the situation as below:

1. Mysore University Campus – Manasagangothri – is beautiful. The South  Gate was built to enhance the aesthetics of the campus; but at the wrong place. I say this with engineering conviction.

2. Such an important gate/entrance shall never be in front of a ‘sharp curve’ of the approach road.

3. Every Mysurean wants to see a beautiful frontage; orderly, impressive and attractive. Unfortunately / ironically, the situation at the junction is chaotic; all because of wrong engineering thoughts.

4. Why? Here are the reasons.

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5. Fundamentally,  the approach to the UoM gates should have been adjoining a straight stretch with a well-integrated design of lines, levels, turning radii, deceleration lane from the west side, acceleration lane from the east side, etc; all imminent elements to road engineering.

6. There are many missing elements.

7. But, before addressing the above, let us evaluate the cluster of ‘footpath vendors’ strewn across, the south side footpath and all kinds of vehicles parked; thoughtless; obstructing the smooth flow of traffic; can only be described as insensible/insensitive.

8. These are currently compounded by median openings for vehicles turning into and exiting the campus; all causing chaos. The junction needs to be more attractive.

In all probabilities, these were bothering the learned Vice-Chancellor. The competence of our engineers was proved hollow overnight in providing the killer hump.

Seemingly workable solutions are as follows:

I. First and foremost, request all the street vendors to clear from the frontage totally and relocate them.

ii. This would ensure the free flow of traffic from the eastern side.

iii. Prohibit ‘right turn’ and close this ‘median opening’.

iv. To enable those wanting to take Bogadi side access, open the University Gate on the east side; adjoining the Guest House. At the gate, the vehicles take ‘right and right’ to access Bogadi Road.

v. Road users have to understand and cooperate.

vi. To those wanting to turn into the campus from the east side, I wish there was adequate road width to accommodate a ‘right turn lane’. And sadly, the width looks inadequate.

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vii. On both the east and west sides, rumblers can be provided to caution drivers approaching the (awkward) junction.

PS: My Polish boss had said to me when I was merely 24:  “Prasad, for engineers, first time is the best time. Drawing board times are most precious.”

[The author is a Design Engineer and Project Management Consultant, Roads (Retd.)]

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