Govt. agencies and ORRCA to hold monthly meetings
When it’s finally operational, the metro line to Kempegowda International Airport is expected to ease congestion and reduce travel time. But until then, motorists who regularly use Outer Ring Road, home to several tech parks, are worried about traffic disruptions that years of metro work will herald.
Ahead of metro work on this busy stretch, the State government has put in place a coordination mechanism with multiple utilities and the Outer Ring Road Companies’ Association (ORRCA), which will hold monthly meetings to take stock.
Companies have agreed to look into staggered timings for easy employee commute. “ORRCA’s focus remains on ensuring seamless traffic on ORR and companies bringing employees back in office,” said Krishna Kumar Gowda, operations manager, ORRCA. Raman Reddy, Additional Chief Secretary (IT&BT) chaired a meeting with ORRCA and representatives of all utilities concerned on Thursday.
At the meeting, it was decided to revamp road infrastructure and fix all existing gaps to alleviate commute experience. Once construction begins, all arterial roads connecting ORR will be made motorable. Potholes on ORR and arterial roads will be filled. And most importantly road digging and OFC cable-laying work will have to be completed at the earliest. Stakeholders also decided that street lights will be fixed and cycle lanes implemented.
One of the key concerns raised at the meeting was seamless traffic in open lanes and Bus Priority Lanes (BPL), which play a key role in traffic management. It was decided that damaged BPL barricades and bollards will be fixed. The Bengaluru Traffic Police (BTP) was instructed to penalise violators and ensure that private buses do not block bus lanes or main carriageways while waiting for passengers to board.
ORRCA also requested the authorities to allow 12/20 seater buses used to ferry employees to run on the bus lane. The association also made a case for allowing all traffic to be allowed on bus lanes when open lanes are closed for metro work.
Mr. Reddy directed the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) to submit an action plan for the same. The Bus Rapid Transit System lanes in Devarabeesanahalli have already been closed for the work. The BMTC said it is ready to provide charter buses depending on demand, and will assign nodal officers.
The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) has been directed to ensure barricading in a “straight and neat manner”. Breaks in barricades should not be permitted over specific stretches. BMRCL has also been directed to come up with an action plan to ensure pedestrian crossing and safety during the construction phase.
Another main concern ORRCA representatives expressed was the hazard of construction debris, dug mud, and dust. Mr. Reddy asked the BMRCL to remove mud from metro construction on a regular basis and deploy mechanised sweepers daily.
The deadline for the 58 km ORR-airport line from Central Silk Board is likely to be completed by 2025. Work has already started on the stretch between Central Silk Board and K.R. Puram.