After having remained barely motorable for years, the commuters who passed by the road that links Kommaghatta and Kengeri in the last few days were pleasantly surprised to find that the stretch has been repaired ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the region on Monday.
PM Modi will be visiting Kommaghatta to lay the foundation stone for the Bengaluru Suburban Railway Project and to inaugurate various railway and road projects as well as multi-modal logistic parks.
Potholes and frequent digging up of the stretch had made it difficult for thousands of motorists to take the Kommaghatta-Kengeri road and complaints to civic agencies yielded no result. However, over the last few days, civic agencies working in full swing completed the laying of asphalt on the one-kilometre stretch and installed a footpath much to the delight of residents.
Kengeri resident Shiva Kumar says he was amazed by the speed at which the works were completed. “Even if civic agencies complete road works in half the time they took, it will be impressive.”
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The roads here were dug up two years ago to lay large pipes with a diameter of 11.6 metres as part of the fifth stage of the Kaveri water supply project. Around eight months ago, a biker met with an accident after falling into a pit on the stretch, Kumar said, adding that a week ago, the agencies set to work, leaving no trace of the road’s former condition.
An official with the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) said the roads were laid in a hurry ahead of the Prime Minister’s visit, but the pipelines have not been installed yet. There are chances that the stretch might be dug up a week after PM Modi’s visit, the official added.
The event to be attended by the Prime Minister will be held three kilometres away from the spot where Bihar resident Devbharath (30) and Uttar Pradesh native Ankit Kumar (28) suffocated to death inside a water pipeline while carrying out works last month.
Asif Mohammed, a street vendor who sells fruits on the stretch, said he was asked to shut his shop for three days. “I am only hoping that this road will remain in good condition even after Modi’s visit. People here have suffered a lot. This road also serves as a link to BDA’s Nadaprabhu Kempegowda Layout. I have seen the potholes here causing accidents,” he adds.
The footpath is already full of illegal banners and flex boards inviting PM Modi to Bengaluru. Interestingly, the civic agencies have not repaired any of the other poorly maintained stretches in the vicinity.
Holiday for schools, colleges
On Monday, several schools and colleges in the region will remain shut owing to security reasons in connection with the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Karnataka higher education minister C N Ashwath Narayan issued an order on Saturday saying higher education institutions in and around IISc, Goraguntepalya, CMTI, Ring Road, Nayandahalli, Mysuru Road, RV College, Nagarabavi, MEI Junction, Govardhan Talkies, Yeshwantpur and Jakkur Aerodrome route will remain shut. Several government and private schools have also announced holidays.