Tender SURE (Specifications for Urban Roads Execution) is a project undertaken by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike to improve roads and transport infrastructure related to roads around the city. Digging up the roads is causing massive traffic and pedestrian problems on major roads and junctions.
According to JANA Urban Space Foundation, project Tender SURE is all about getting the urban roads right. It looks at fixing everything that is wrong with Indian roads, including broken footpaths, traffic, potholes, flowing drainages, poorly placed transformers and dangling electric wires.
The project has been underway in many parts of the city since 2011. Some of the features of these roads include Uniform Standard Carriage Way width from one junction to another, properly designed footpaths, bicycle lanes, parking bays for vehicles, proper stormwater drainage systems and proper landscaping to increase the aesthetics of the roads and city.
Roads such as Church Street, Brigade road, MG road, St Marks road and Richmond town have been the latest in line to be fixed under this scheme. It is estimated that the BBMP is spending nine crore rupees on fixing Church Street alone. While the decision to improve the conditions of these roads is being lauded by many, given the present situation of the traffic-ridden roads across Bengaluru, there are a few complaints regarding the process of fixing them and the time taken to do so.
Dadu, who sells sunglasses on Church Street, says, “I have been watching this construction for two and a half months. Due to this, I had to change the spot where I used to sell glasses earlier.” When asked whether this affects his sales, he said, “because there is so much traffic, I feel like fewer people bring their cars here and more people walk on the road, which makes it easier for me to sell my items.”
A traffic police on MG Road said, “this will take another two months to be completed. Traffic has increased on Saturdays and it becomes a little difficult to control it sometimes.” Even Anand, a security guard at the Barton Centre, says, “we don’t have any major problems with this construction, except that cars find it difficult to enter the parking lot of this building.”
The road outside the MG Road metro station which is being fixed has encountered the problem of too many two-wheelers being parked on the road, which obstructs moving vehicles. The barricades put along the road do not seem to deter the people who leave their vehicles there, causing a nuisance for the workers and pedestrians as well. While many complain about the traffic that is being caused by the digging of the roads, there are quite a few people who are simply adding to the nuisance of bottle-necking the road by parking out on the roads, beyond the barricades of MG road. On Church Street, the traffic police have taken a stiff stance against parking on the road, and many two-wheelers and cars are regularly towed from the road which is grappling with large holes being dug up, garbage being put into the side of the roads, and barricades making it difficult for walkers as well as vehicles to pass.
It is interesting to note that even though Church street is facing such problems, especially on weekend nights with more pedestrians and cars, cops have not made any arrangements to temporarily close off traffic on the road. The safety of walkers is compromised by fast-moving bikes and cars.
It is estimated that the project around the MG road area will be completed in two more months.