Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, Jun 18, 2002
Action plan to tackle traffic congestion in Bangalore
BANGALORE, June 17
AN `Immediate Action Plan' aimed at easing the growing traffic congestion in Bangalore city has been submitted to the Government by the city police and the Transport Advisory Forum.
The project costing Rs 170 crore envisages traffic management schemes in five areas including grade separations at road intersections and railway crossings and pedestrian facilities.
The project aims at improving the existing infrastructure which is under increasing pressure due to growing vehicular population, currently estimated at 1.5 million.
Realising the urgency to improve the situation, the Bangalore city traffic police, in collaboration with the Transport Advisory Forum, have identified the problem areas and initiated necessary follow-up action on a pilot basis.
To implement the scheme in a time-bound manner and eliminate delays by the multiples agencies involved in approvals, the Government has set up a Steering Committee headed by the Principal Secretary, Urban Development Department, with all stakeholder organisations and others as members.
The action plan, an offshoot of coordinated efforts of 50 representatives of public and various Government departments, and sponsored by Ashok Leyland, says that the provision of additional facilities and improvements to the existing assets have not kept pace with the increase in traffic. The congestion on arterial roads has become a severe problem for smooth traffic movement and management as well.
The action plan says the volume-capacity ratio, which is an indicator of congestion, is as high as 2.65 on some of the major roads. More over 35 per cent of the road network is in poor condition. The speed on arterial roads has come down to about 20 km per hour during peak hours. Besides these, road-based bus transport system is not able to cope with the rising demand.
The study identified the most congested roads in five areas Majestic Circle, Queen's Road, Hudson Circle, M.G. Road and Minerva Circle. Detailed traffic management plan was prepared and its trial implementation in some of the areas has borne quick results in the form of improvement in speeds on those roads. Delays have been reduced in the implementation of traffic management measures. Improvements at individual intersections were carried out by Craphts Consultants, on behalf of the Karnataka Road Development Corporation Ltd (KRDCL).
As many as 106 intersections in Central Bangalore have been brought under improvement plans and the Bangalore Mahanagar Palike (BMP) will take up the task at a total cost Rs 24.71 crore.
After a careful study, 10 other locations have been chosen for implementation in the first phase of the "Immediate Action Plan''. Among the critical intersections are those at Airport Road, Trinity Church, GPO and South End Circles.
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